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It’s fitting this first post of 2017 should be about the enriching world of children’s books. But first, here’s a picture of one of my grandson’s showing us all how to greet the New Year!15390983_10210312667325616_8515486221660551798_n

Oh yeah and Yay!

Moving on-

Written by  Scotswoman,  Helen Bannerman, and first published by Grant Richards in October 1899, Little Black Sambo is not only one of the very first books I remember being fascinated by as a kid, it did the same for children all over the world for nearly 50 years. Then, the  book attracted uproars from those who had issues with the text and pictures.

Things is, was Helen Bannerman a lifetime ahead of herself? Why do I ask? That’s simple.

It’s a simple story: a boy with fancy clothes is caught by tigers who accept his clothes in lieu of eating the boy. The lions argue over who looks better in the new clothes, chase one another around a pole to get a different piece of clothing from the other and turn into a goo during the process. The tigers run so fast they heat up and melt.**

What Bannerman is describing is energy heat transfer-a solid becoming a liquid as a result. It’s a simple but remarkable thought. Of course, the boy  bringing the goo home so his mom can make pancakes out of it rockets the book up to yummy.

Today, this story just isn’t the warm and fuzzy book it was once thought to be. Time’s change and what we need to be thinking and reading about as people changes along with it.

Moving on—

Bonus picture:

 A one day pick of lemons this past fall.

A one day pick of lemons from my yard this past fall. Two kinds-small Meyer’s, large Meyer’s and a huge Pondarosa. My daughter makes a mean lemonade.

Books will never cease to surprise us if we can only find the time to read. Here’s one I’ve recommended before that will be well worth your effort: Collector of Moments. In my head it’s the Kafkaesque of easy on up to adult books. That’s right, you’ll find this book most often shelved in the children’s Easy section-a picture book- but it reads right on up to adult.collector-of-moments-lion2-1

An illustration from the book-did this picture help inspire the Life of Pi story?

You have to see it to believe it.

A bit like a Van Allsburg book, the NYT’s reviewed this 1999 publication, Collector of Moments , by Quint Buchholz:

“The unexpected details in the pictures demand equally imaginative acts of explanation. In addition, Buchholz often shows people looking at objects behind walls or through doors or even beyond the frame of the paintings — objects that viewers can’t literally see and must therefore envisage for themselves.

As the creator of images most interesting for what they don’t in fact show, Buchholz is himself an accomplished collector of moments. Not only does his book tell young readers things worth knowing about how to look at pictures, but the pictures themselves delightfully repay the kind of attention they invite viewers to give them.”

Enjoy.

You have to see it to believe it.

You have to see it to believe it. The book is a surprise package for sure!

Cheers–Moving on to 2017-it’s all ahead of us now.

Franque 23*

*I’ve been a Library Specialist in the Alachua County Library District for the past 21 years.

Oh my!15390983_10210312667325616_8515486221660551798_n

** The version I was read had the boy and the tigers running around the tree….different takes.

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It's a good time to appreciate one another.

It’s a good time to appreciate one another.

I have to say that John Lennon’s song, So This Is Christmas- War is Over, often runs  on the background hard drive of my brain during the holiday time. The promise of peace looms in my soul somewhat like those three-day work weeks my generation was told we’d live to see, and all due to technological advances that were to come.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

Some promises are hard to hang on to.

At times things don’t work out as planned.

Today, this glob writer has much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for readers in 82 countries who have clicked in almost 6 thousand times this year to check out what’s banging thru my head on a weekly basis. I have a home, and a lake home, a beach home and rentals to boot, and all from once having hitch-hiked 30 miles to a flea market with all the wares I had to sell on my back. I could go back to even worse times in my life, but I won’t. The simple truth is I’ve been lucky to live the American dream-moving from very little to something that is more than enough. And I have good friends. My job? Being a children’s librarian is about as good as it gets, but at 67 I can actually see the switch on the light at the end of the tunnel so, with luck, I’ll retire someday too soon for me. I’ve five books written. three are on Kindle and a fourth is about to come out -if I can just let go-and that’s all a blast.

This year could go head to head with any other I've had and come out well.

This year could go head to head with any other I’ve had and come out well.

It’s difficult at times for me as an American to realize much of the world’s people don’t have enough to live. It’s easy to look away.

It’s easy to forget the Lakota and other tribes still stand in freezing temperatures hoping to stop the pipeline.

I try to envision Isis truly being stopped, or morphed into a place where negotiation is possible. I still dream of massive food airlifts like the kind America ran in WW II being broadcast throughout the middle East as a huge international peace effort. Food, not bombs. I’d rather police use tranquilizer bullets when shooting people who are running away or held upon the ground by other police. Of course, our law people need to be safe as they go about their job of helping our society function.

At this point, American politics is a mosh pit of speculation. Is a boom or bust coming? Will the next four years or so be a drat splat dump we will wish to flush away in the future, or will these coming years be an awakening of a whole new kind of world-wide détente?Is prosperity our future?

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Will Americans ever see anything eye to eye.

Some things are certain; the sand-hill Crane still fly south in the winter; migrations continue all over the world. Species extinctions are too prevalent and the sea levels are rising. Whether or not we have global warming, we all know CO2 emissions are not the way to go for the future of Mankind-so why the debate about global warming when the issue is emissions/pollution? Sometimes, I wonder-what’s up with the misdirection.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health - contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

The graph reveals the human toll due to outdoor air pollution in 2008,… Of all major global health risks, outdoor air pollution in the form of fine particles is found to be dangerous for public health – contributing annually to over 2 million premature deaths worldwide. The WHO global study ranks air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world.

In the end for now, we did just have Christmas, and we can hope for a happy New Year. Let’s hope together that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Let’s hope those who want to move forward in a kind, loving way that ‘s good for all species, the Earth and it’s people win the day.

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

One million children meditating for world peace in 2016

So many of us pray for World Peace.

So many of us pray for World Peace.

Kindness, Truth, Justice and Life has to prevail. We can make it so-that’s the great part.

I looked different at 23 than I do today at 67, but I feel about the same inside, my hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

23 doesn’t look like 67, but I feel about the same today inside as I did back then. My hopes, dreams and aspirations for Mankind remain about the same. Is it the same for the Earth? Is there an ongoing, eternal hope we know little about?

Peace. It's a wonderful bloom.

Peace. It’s a wonderful bloom. Let’s plant that flower.

Franque23 hopes you’ll forward this glob. Cheers

Thanks for being you.

Thanks for being you.


To list a few….

Obamacare

détente

Give Me your tired and your poor

Women’s Rights to equal pay

Women’s right to have abortions in most cases

Current Social Security retirement age

Some amount of Social Security Check

A major part of the funding for the EPA

Emission controls for cars a business(The Clean Air Act)

A better, standard minimum wage

Wall street regulations

Union Rights to organize

Defined Pensions for Workers

National Park funding

Alaskan Pipeline resistance

Taxes on the Rich

 

What we get in return?

A President who is inexperienced in the field of World-Wide politics

A President who  seems unaware of people’s constitutional rights and the workings of the U.S. Government

The NRA ( A gun in every closet)

A President who has called some women pigs, dogs and worse.

A President who gloated after 9/11 since the event would make him money

A President who mused how the housing crash and economic crash in the U.S. several years ago would make him money.

A President who is against environmental protections

A President who has gone bankrupt numerous times.

A President who will soon address in court accusations of Fraud (Trump University) and rape charges.

There will be a Wall we will pay for

A First lady who has posed naked for tabloids. ( Not a crime, but is this appropriate considering the stature of the position?)

One more takeaway

You can only squeeze the middle class workers so much and for so long via both political party’s actions before that electorate is willing to shoot themselves in the foot rather than vote for an ongoing economic travesty. 

The day is done; our country’s course is set for the foreseeable future.

Advice for President Obama: 

Sign as many (a thousand or more) Executive Orders between now and January. This might slow that foreseeable future of a beast down.

Franque23.

239 (2)

The day is done…for now.



   Make no mistake about it: the same lands we fought so hard to maintain as wild spaces within the Alachua Forever guidelines are under attack again this Nov. 8th.  It’s the Plum Creek nightmare all over again for our citizens. This first affront to common sense came under the guise of Envison Alachua, a proposal that sought to develop and mine Alachua County’s green spaces.  The Plan’s primary backer was Weyerhaeuser, a company  currently on the US Toxic round-up list, Canada’s Toxic violators list plus the company is being sued in at least three counties in Europe for creating toxic waste sites.

Why do I think Weyerhaeuser is behind the signs placed about town that ask voters to vote against funding Alachua’s Wild Spaces? Basically, the company’s slimy phosphogypsum (more on this later)* foot print is all over the message on those signs, the ones that claim the measure will increase taxes. NOT SO!

   The measure to vote for funding Wild Spaces is a RENEWAL of the same tax measure we, the voters, elected to pass in 2008. It doesn’t represent a tax increase as claimed on the signs, but rather the preservation of Alachua County’s wild spaces. So why the lie on the signs? Why the misdirection? Why the I couldn’t fool you with Envision Alachua last time so I’ll try again by claiming the Wild Spaces measure is a tax increase?

   The rub is mostly about the 37, 495 acres in Alachua County, the Lochloosa Forest. It’s part of Alachua’s Wild Spaces, part of lands kept, supported and maintained by the tax that will be renewed if this measure passes.  Weyerhaeuser and other developers would love this land to be underfunded. Then, they might get it.

Currently, 443,210 acres of Florida are under phosphate mines, and companies that  use and development these and new phosphate mines earned a cool  1.13 Billion dollars in the year, 2000. That’s a heap of cash, and this mining process creates not only thousands of jobs, it renders Florida mountains of problems.

To make it simple, earth containing Phosphate is about 30 feet below ground level.  The earth that’s over the phosphate is called the Matrix, or overburden.  Thing is, once the Matrix is cleared away and the phosphate is extracted from the earth the dirt that’s left is full of  stuff called phosphogypsum-way back when people used to see huge mounds of this dirt near the phosphate mines…remember? Perhaps, if you’re my age, you played on those mounds as a kid.

The EPA came along not too long ago and discovered that phosphogypsum was full of radium, it’s radioactive, and it had to actually be kept in tall stacks-like cooling towers-for public safety. Currently,  over a billion tons of radioactive phosphygpsum is being held in 25 stacks located around the State of Florida. Worse, when the phosphate companies go belly up they walk away from the radioactive towers leaving them for our state to clean up. The cost of cleanup for just three of these towers in Florida recently cleared 160 million tax dollars.

phosphatedragline_5
(Phosphate mine in Florida—they’re no good for hiking.)
   Yeah-no. Alachua County residents have to vote “YES”  on the WILD SPACES measure.
   We love our green spaces, Nature, and we don’t need big business lying to us while trying to erode our support for our environment. We also don’t need phosphate mining in Alachua County.  Those company’s can keep their mines elsewhere and the 140 million they spend yearly on trying to monitor their pollution controls.
    Here’s the dirt on the measure,  Wild Spaces and Trails:

   “The Alachua County Commission has placed a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot to rejuvenate the county’s conservation land-purchasing program, Wild Spaces Public Places. Voting YES on this measure would extend the program for eight years and raise $130.2 million to protect more that 27,000 acres of parks and recreation lands that remain on the acquisition list.

 

These funds would also help pay for Gainesville’s $81 million parks, recreation and culture master plan, and fund park improvements for Alachua County and the county’s nine smaller municipalities.

If you believe saving water and land through Alachua County Forever, and improving our parks, trails, and recreational facilities is important, then vote YES for WILD SPACES AND PUBLIC PLACES on November 8, 2016.”http://www.fcvoters.org/wild-spaces/

    See you around town, or in the woods, parks and trails. Isn’t that nice.
Franque23

Did you know that 5 tons of phosphogypsum is created when just one ton of phosphate is produced? Me, neither-that’s a bad trade-off…


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..

 


Owning a pool in Florida can bring on a number of problems…

but we haven't had this one, yet.

But we haven’t had this one, yet.(We have had baby ducks…?)

Our in-ground pool isn’t covered, and it features lots of plantings around it as well as over hanging orange trees and palms….therein lies the rub.

lots of plants around the pool

lots of plants around the pool

It’s about the ton of sand in my backyard swimming pool. Ours is an in-ground, standard 10,000 gallon one, and it gets plenty of use. Five grandchildren from ages eight on down have finessed the beginning art of swimming in these waters, and our 2 and 1/2 year old Catahoula Leopard has invented one thousand ways to dive bomb the heck out of the place.

dive bomb 101

Dive bombing,  101

family crowds

family crowds

About that dog-of course-it wasn’t always this way. No, the first year of his life or so he’d run around the perimeter of the pool refusing to so much as touch a toe in the water. Then, the damn broke and now I’m thinking he’s about to learn how to scale the privacy fence so he can take a dip when we’re not around.

And sometimes the our five grand children, the dog and us makes it a bit crowded

And sometimes our five grand children, the dog and us makes it a bit of a crowd

What all this means is sand-the four letter word of pools. Sure, I clean the pool often, skimming, vacuuming, changing filters, whatever, but still, the dreaded sand build up has happened over time. It all makes me glad I don’t have to clean the bottom of Lake Bonaparte up north.

You're hired, fella!

You’re hired, fella!

We have to care for the lake, but not clean it.

Anyway, about the sand at the bottom of your pool, the stuff you vacuum continually and watch as it seeps through your filter basket, your skimmer, your whatever to return back into the water. There’s hope.

simply leave the keys in your front door and walk away--there, you're done cleaning the pool.

Simply leave the keys in your front door and walk away–there, you’re done cleaning the pool.

let the dog have it.

Let the dog have it.

I’d watched that fine sand dissipate and stream through my cleaning basket long enough. This year, the year of the Meme, was gonna be different. download (4)

I immediately called the local pool supply stores or went in person to ask what could be done? Could I sell the fine sand and retire with the profit? Beside the mention of back washing sand filters, something the salespeople talked about as though it was the kiss of death that would , in fact, never work, I came away from my quest with one thought in mind: nothing was gonna help solve this problem.

What to do?

What to do?

I turned to U-tube video’s and began to read links and comments on the subject- that’s always comical. One guy writes,,,,’Problem with sand? Try vacuuming your pool, duh!’ The response was something like: ‘Hey nut-ass, if people could vacuum up the sand, why would this thread exist-you dart brain.’

After laughing, I got back to work and watched several really stupid ideas like buying one million dollars worth of stuff that might do the job. Then, THENNN, I came across this video put out by a Zen like foreign Kung-fu guy. Here was some soft spoken whack-job telling me not to spend anything, just about, and the sand would be gone… Ha haha hahahah….yeah-no, was my first reaction.

taped on hose to rod; floaty cut off for siphon tip end---

Taped on hose to rod; floaty cut off for siphon tip end—

It was only desperation that lead on to re-me watch the, ‘I can solve this sand problem free’ guy.’ Here’s the link.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVusj7KjnI0

I followed his brain dent idea to a tee. Riggin’ up my hose, I first selected the length of hose I thought I’d need to do my pool-it’s seven feet deep on one end. I cut part of a floaty off and taped it to the hose siphon end.

I cut about a six inch piece off

I cut about a six inch piece off

and taped it to the end of hte cut hose to make the suction end...this way I could push it against the bottom of the pool without hurting the  fiberglass.

and taped it to the end of the cut hose to make the suction end…this way I could push it against the bottom of the pool without hurting the fiberglass.

Because I hadn’t paid attention in kindergarten, it took me almost two hours to drop this hose and contraption rigged vacuum end into the pool so it became water full-this was, in some ways, the hardest part of the operation….I had to wait until all the air bubbles were out of the entire length of hose.

Two days later, I had the time to try the crazy free idea out. I screwed on a hose pressure  nozzle onto the the submerged  hose end opposite the rigged up siphon end while it was all still all underwater….I lifted that nozzle end up and out of the pool,,,and dragged the hose out so this nozzle end was lower than the surface level of my pool. I unscrewed the nozzle and the hose started to siphon water.

well, shoot, you can't see how much sand came out of the pool--it was about a pound

well, shoot, you can’t see how much sand came out of the pool–it was about a pound

In a delirious shock, I ran to the pool and grabbed the rod I’d tapped to the siphon end of the contraption. Slowly, the key word, I started to run the siphon over the fine sand and it vanished up the hose and out into the yard. S-L-O-W, that’s the task at hand….move too fast and that fine sand you’re trying to siphon up merely turns to dust and escapes into the pool water around and away from your siphon. So yeah, It took me three hours and about no money to completely eradicate my pool of sand…..

Weeeee, time to dive in!

Weeeee, time to dive in!

How long will this last?

It lasts at least a day. I waited this long to write this glob.

Patients is key

Patients is key

when the time's right-dive in...

when the time’s right-dive in…

Meanwhile, I’ve kept my dog out of the pool and I’m pretty sure he’s called several shrinks in the area, even the dog catcher to see if anything can be done about me.

 but hey, for free but for time and work, my once sand crusted covered pool bottom is super clean....

but hey, for free but for time and work, my once sand crusted covered pool bottom is super clean….

I mean Super Clean....

I mean Super Clean….

so cheers to Florida pool owners who put up with the sand…you can rid your pool of it for about free…go figure.

 

Franque23 loves a clean pool


The Lake seems like a dream.

There are so many great shots of our Lake posted on the Bonaparte site-this one is an aerial view of our camp in Porter's Bay, East shore road. Follow the road as it forks left and it leads right to our camp-the roof and yard is fully visible. (click to make larger)

There are so many great shots of our Lake posted on the Bonaparte site-this one is an aerial view of our camp in Porter’s Bay, East shore road. Follow the road as it forks left and it leads to our camp

Now, I can’t watch those morning  Lake water’s mirror the day to come. The easy, breezy mornings, the why am I so hungry noontime meals, the peaceful afternoons and cooler, crisp nights have whisked away into memories. The Lake’s wind and clouds that stretch to the horizon beyond reason are gone from touch and sight. The calling loons, their sounds so audible above the whining motor boat engines or belly splashes made by air-borne people during the day, the same calls that preside with a magical presence throughout the evening hours and echo off the distant hills, no longer nudge my imagination.

Our camp has always had one of the best views on the Lake....sixty feet up, facing the sunset....

Our camp has always had one of the best views on the Lake….sixty feet up, facing the sunset….

Lake Bonaparte’s sandy shore has once again slipped between my fingers.

dang it! Even the Loons are flappin' goodbye

dang it! Even the Loons are flappin’ goodbye

It was a year of do’s and do nots. My sister and I sat one night and  listed the things we’d planned to accomplish on our stay but hadn’t as this year’s vacation came to a close. I’d so looked forward to reading but had hardly opened a book. (Fart)I planned on fishing every day but only got out once by myself and only three other times with my grandchildren-hardly a record pace.(Splat) I knew I’d pause on the dock, rest, but always seemed so busy!(Oy Vey!) I hoped to catch up with relatives and friends but was lucky enough to share a meal with most of them. (My time was gobbled up!) Long drives were in order but, though there were some, none went to the heart of the Adirondacks; the mountains stayed on my horizon. (Heeellllo over thereee) I’d get stuff done, right? I remember all the record keeping, re-organization, the strategic planning I’d hoped to get done.(Whahahaha.as if-whiplash on that wishful thinking.)

I’m thinking I had a smorgasbord of nothing getting done this year.

Lake Bonaparte-great place to get nothin' done.

Lake Bonaparte-easy to get nothin’ done.

It was, however, great to bring two grandchildren up to meet some of their cousins and for us to see our own relatives and loved ones. Those meeting pushed the clock. The weather did not disappoint, always offering a wide variation in temperature, skies clear to rainy, and a wind fierce enough to top the lake with whitecaps or so still that a feather could stay in place on shore. Looking back, the three consecutive days of a still lake-a rarity-seems a miracle. Was any of it real?

Dale enjoys her morning , worship time....

Dale enjoys her morning worship time….

It's as silent in the morning as if the snow had just fallen

It’s silent in the morning, as if the snow had just fallen…

There were exotic evening boat rides that appeared to hold the sunset up in the sky as we raced to the opposite east shore with our motor churning to ‘save the day’. The Clue games left me without one; playing Go Fish was the luckiest I got at that sport.  Yoga on the dock was matched well with filling boat gas tanks. The Lake water stayed warm and oh so clear. I didn’t twist, strain or break a single bone while rolling down our stairs or slipping on the dock. Our only night fire was spectacular and helped fend off the black fly and deer fly hatch we’d hit just right during our stay.

"Mornin'! Are the flies gone?"

“Mornin’! Are the flies gone?”

BTW-what the hell is the black fly and deer fly hatch doing coming out mid July at the Lake? Don’t I remember that as being an early June nemesis type of a thingy?

I kinda like The Lake...

I kinda like The Lake…flies or no flies…..

I haven’t mentioned the crashing down of a six-foot long-range of dishes off the wall in our kitchen on purpose. First off, memories have privileges and, when the 100 or so broken dishes and glassware were all cleaned up, we had about just the right number of dishes left in tact to run the camp. It’s called God’s grace that no one was hurt and collecting if you take the high road on the amount of glassware we had.

The high road....thanks to Mary S for the pic,,I think,,actually, I forget....

The high road….thanks to Mary S for the pic,,I think,,actually, I forget….

I saw Pat and Sue who I haven’t seen in eight plus years and Kate McGraw(sp) who I haven’t seen in forty-five or more! Good neighbors were there, too. Hi to Bill, his crew with mighty Max the 2 1/2 yr old, Laura, and Mary and Joey plus the cool dock crowd! Tom Morgan stopped by this year; Paul and Meta look great. The Fourth was a real kick….thanks to everyone for those fireworks around the Lake. Boom..it’s all fun.

The dream will keep until our next visit. Then, we’ll start a new one. See you…

This float lasted at least two days,,,,maybe.

This float lasted at least two days,,,,maybe.-we highly recommend the Wave Kayaks for children up to 130 pounds…..they are Gggggrreat!

Franque23 loves the Lake and won’t miss a single dish.

Psst–to the fishermen: I can absolutely tell you where the fish weren’t….


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….

 


I can’t quite put my finger on it…

"Put your finger on your ear" story hour at the lake.

“Put your finger on your ear” story hour at the lake.

But as much as the Lake is about the people you see there, the Lake has a life of its own.

A perfectly normal gathering of family and relatives can tune south quickly around the lake....

A perfectly normal gathering of family and relatives can turn south quickly around the lake….

Just when you think things are under control, you’re using power tool while standing in the water. Maybe, even drinkin’

Zzzzzzzz sawing sounds....

Zzzzzzzz sawing sounds….

Hats are available, especially when working….this I learned at work

Hats and shirts

Hats and shirts

Hats work at work as well….

working it

working it

All of us-working…..

something about hats

something about hats keeps the ticker tickin’

or hats keep you head from fryin'

or hats keep you head from fryin’ (backyard pool zone in FL.) Title: Floating Heads.

And it's all about fishin', too

And it’s all about fishin’, too

Three fishin' fools make a basket full of brains-Einstein.

Three fishin’ fools make a basket full of brains-Einstein.

So, there’s dinner for five hundred biblical style…

You need the protein to get things done while watching family work...

You need the protein to get things done while watching family work…

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The lake floats plenty of boats….

Lots of different types

Lots of different types

Funny, but I thought about this floating scene while floating down a river in Xcaret, Mexico with my wife a few months ago….BTW-a must do if you can

Rolling down the river

Rolling down the river

It's easy to think of the past when you're floating down a river...only one left, now.

It’s easy to think of the past when you’re floating down a river…only one above left, now.

Me? I'm still fishin'

Me? I’m still fishin’

We'll all come and go

We’ll all come and go and like John Lennon sang, “There are places I’ll remember…

some are gone or changed forever.

some are gone and some have changed.”

But the Lake will stay a treasure to those lucky enough to visit her shores.

But the Lake will stay a treasure to those lucky enough to visit her shores.

It’s a great time to be going to the lake; anytime is.

Good luck fishin', and I hope to see you cruising by

Good luck fishin’, and I hope to see you cruising by

Bye for now….off to the Lake…

gotta try on a few more hats...

gotta try on a few more hats…

 

Franque23—fun times ahead.


When I think about it, maybe I should just stay home and stick fish-hooks in my fingers instead of going north to do it.

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

Up north or down south, hooks hurt like any other. And why go through the trouble of driving 22 hours north to spill gas or oil on myself as the boat rocks? I do that servicing my lawn mower here at home.

 A body tune-up

A body tune-up

I can sun burn out back in our yard or slip on these steps here-who needs a dock. Sure, I don’t have 49 steps in Florida, but falling’s falling, peeling’s peeling.

Florida burns like any other.

Florida burns are like any other.

I have a choice: reel in weeds from the lake or pull them from my yard at home.  One hawk’s cry echoes any other, and my neighbors here shoot off guns from time to time with almost the same regularity as Fort Drum’s boomers shake the windows up north. Of course, the Lake has those magnificent jets flying around now and then, but Gainesville has an old twin prop plane that fly’s overhead occasionally.

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky...it's s-l-o-w..

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky…it’s s-l-o-w..

Traffic cops here; traffic cops there. The bugs are about the same. Used to be the beer brands were different up north, now, not so much. The traffic jams home give me time to think while New York State RT 3 is one long country road populated by drivers who wave as they go by. Oy Vey, the arm strain up north is almost as bad as the back pain you get from visiting Japan.

What is a stop sign?

What is a stop sign? NYS RT Three.

If that friendly clerk at the grocery store asks me one more time how I am….down here there’s no time for a polite hello; we’re all busy, in a hurry and completely bummed out by searing heat, too many lunatics and raging jobs. Crowds and one million fast food joints-that’s more like it!

Harrisville's version of a New York City deli.

Harrisville’s version of a New York City deli.

We have no internet connection and choose not to hook up our TV up north. Basically, there’s only morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night, one day after they other. Pesky, friendly neighbors say hello and every one smiles, plays cards, fails at puzzle making, swims, fishes, boats, floats, and laughs the time away. It’s a crap load of fun, day in and day out, always the same, tireless, never-ending, on and on, repeated mirrored days that reflect in the lake*.It's so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.l

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day-people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night...oh the fun!!!

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night…oh the fun!!!

The air itself, purified by the Adirondack trees and the lack of major industrial pollution, is much purer than the air found almost anywhere else on the planet-it’s work, breathing the fresh air in and out-improving health takes some adjustment. The energy you feel up at the lake is one big pain in the ass…who needs energy when they could’ve stayed home and melted into a couch while flipping TV channels.

Nothing comes free, and nap time up north cuts into daily pleasures. That’s pressure right there. You can catch people power napping all over the lake trying to hurry up the process so the day doesn’t slip by too fast. Even blinking seems a waste.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

Ho-hum, the day is done...

Ho-hum, the day is done…

So why go north when I can sweat at home? Hmmm,,,ya know, thinking about it all, maybe 22 hours driving with a wife, two grand kids and a dog isn’t really that long of a trip.

There might be a way to have a good time...

There might be a way to have a good time…

Maybe, I would survive the fun, live through the air-breathing task and haul in some fish with those weeds?!?!

Come to think of it, my bags are already packed, and why not? We leave for the lake in 108 hours and 14 minutes. The boat’s callin’…

Let's get a move on!!!

Let’s get a move on!!! The ears have it!

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them.....but that was long ago.

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them…..but that was long ago.

Cheers.

Franque23

*Dale, my wife took these amazing shots of Bonaparte…

From the 1/2 way it's 30 more steps to the lake bottom---but what if I rolled down from here?

It’s 30 more steps from the 1/2 way dock down to the lake—but what if I rolled down the steps from here? Giant slides and elevators come to mind.

 

 

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