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Gerald, the farmer. That’s not a title I ever thought I might stand by but, in some respects, it’s here now with me.

No, from the get go I announced as a small boy of four and then for some years after that I was, in fact, Gerald the Great! I’d march around our house with my wooden sword held high while my friends herded behind me proclaiming that, “I am Gerald the Great!”

There could be no doubt about my title. It was so well forecast by my mom’s natural golden shining hair and red lipped sweet smiles. My dad’s ever present smooth countenance, a demeanor so calm he could part the red sea with a single whisper, this man, too, had such a force his words gave swords to my armies.

I paraded armies of plastic men about the house for years, moving huge numbers of troops from room to room seeking the high ‘couch’ ground to gain advantage over an invisible foe. In fact, I directed and starred in these plastic men battles for so long I’m sure my mom must have wondered if, “The Nut case!”, should be added to the title, “Gerald the Great!”

I could never know the joy my first baby girl would give me.

Back then, I had to listen to the birds; the wind. I’d run across fields of dandelion knowing my song was in the air, that the sparkle in the dew upon the grass called. It was never hard to climb our apple trees highest limbs, catch, hit or throw the ball or balance precariously to walk across a 2X4 beam laid upon the ground. Life came easy..

Most mornings, the house rang of piano music played by my beautiful red-haired sister or mother whose apple pies usually scented the air by 10 AM. Perhaps, this is why when it came time for me to go to school I confidently announced that I wasn’t going to go. Of course, this is the first time I had to realize being, Gerald the Great, had its kinks.

I was the daydreamer in school; the birds were still singing. The white clouds seemed so much more appealing to see than the chalk streaks upon the black board. Schools friends were like brothers and the girls, so much smarter and with long hair, were fascinating.

 Sixth grade graduation…I’m in the back row, 6th from the right.

I drafted behind my brother’s spotless lead and fell into sports, wrestling from 3rd grade on, jostling lacrosse sticks on the field and running the football behind great blockers.

Ed placed third in the Nationals while wrestling for Harvard.

.

Music gave me a push, too. Wait!!! Whahaha, this is a very old photo and worn around the top left but if you click on it the picture seems to show my head smoking!!!!

It was my freshmen year of high school when my best friend, Bob Russo, and I attended a camp in Marlboro, Vermont, as counselors. One night, he slipped beneath the lake waters and never came back up. I’d been there, on the shore, but in the full moon light I was unable to locate his call for help. As daunting as that moment was to carry from then on, Gerald the Great, didn’t exactly go to the bottom of that lake with my friend that night, not entirely.  It’s  true, a part of me never left that shore line, but the burning embers of new love kept my glow alive through most of my remaining High School years. Thing is, Gerald the Great, did lose that night and I may have never found my way back.

Death has a nasty habit of sticking around, forever.

Life has a great way of moving on whether you’re ready to or not.

It seems we run to our shadows as we live.*

It’s years later, now, after the death of my friend. Of course, like most of us who live to my age, I’ve seen quite a few loved ones pass. I’m not sure if I see them best in the sunrise now or find them coming back most often during the sunset hours.  It’s all a wonder.

I had a renter, Ralph, a Vietnam combat vet who struggled with chemical poisoning. I liked, Ralph, and visited him often for no reason but friendship. One day like any other, he sat me down in his living room and told me this.

“Gerry, I appreciate your help here with the trailer; living here has been great. I’ve been going to the VA for several years now and they say my time is up. This is why I moved up here; to go to the VA.  Why I watch these damn combat dramas I don’t know.” Ralph turned off his TV set off. “Thing is, I was  in Sunrise , Florida, before I came here and one morning I decided to walk from my place all the way over a long bridge and make my way to the ocean. I saw a beautiful sunrise and heard a voice tell me that I’d make something out of my life yet. Now, I’m just dying; I’ve done nothing.”

I liked, Ralph. I hated to see his sunken shoulders, to hear his words. During my 14 years in retail I’d had complete strangers come up to my leather stands and announce they were dying, but this was Ralph, my friend. That I never knew his situation hit me like a dagger.

“Listen, Ralph, none of us can say what we have done when it comes to other lives. It’s that old image of a pebble being thrown into a pond; we ripple our lives through others in ways we don’t know.” We talked for hours.

 I found myself hoping I’d created waves with my life.

Funny, but I never went on to tell him how he’d rippled through me, and most of that I didn’t even hold at the time. Ralph passed two weeks later.

So, the point for, Gerald the Great, as the throes of life and death have surrounded me, is it came as no surprise to learn later on that I’d actually come from a long line of famous soldier regiments that fought around the world back in the 1750’s.

 

This is the palace where Von Franquemont’s were trained in math and warfare.

No, for me, I guess this time called life has always been a battle to win. Maybe, did I win? I have to think.

The rain came lightly down today as I picked our garden with the company of Shadow, my ever-loving dog.

I thought about a great friend, Anne, who just this past month told me the doctors had said she’d be dead by then. Her smile was no less bright; the warmth and compassion from her is no less spectacular than anything that ever was. Sometimes, this battle called life seems too much.

Anne is so much to so many. It feels as though she could never leave. She’s a tsunami of joy for the living spirit world.

I came in to leave this storm of thought carrying my produce to wipe the rain off my brow, pat down my dog and have some tea. It was time to regroup; time to kindle flames. It’s time to find the high ground, hit the couch, maybe read. I still hear the birds.

The young give me hope.

One day, Gerald the Great, may march around this house once more and if I do I’ll have to proclaim, “I never saw so much coming.”

Warm cheers for May

Franque23

 

 

*This is my son-in-law and our grandson.

 

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view.)

Not many people grow gardens, at least not in my neighborhood and this amazes me. People certainly can see the food I grow if they happen to walk by. But let’s take a look for ourselves!

Whoops, I think we made the wrong turn out the front door.

Of course, the gardenia is this way and it’s a wonderful place to visit any time of day, especially when it’s blooming.

Too many blooms to count-well over three hundred!

Yep! Shadow’s there to block our way. I said, “To the garden!” and Shadow’s like, “What?”

Well, the bird bath looks good so we’ll turn around and head in the right direction.

That’s better! Just past the fig tree (on the left) is our destination.

A few musings as we go: I often share the fruits of my labor with neighbors throughout the year. Our oranges bear November thru April and various garden grown veggies come in during the spring and fall!

My back Florida room is often filled with pickings…these are oranges and grapefruit-the last pick of the season. Greening is a disease that is wiping out much of Floridan’s citrus crop and several of my trees, the Valencia especially, are affected as well. I tried mixing some of the green oranges in with good ones for juice but, really, those are a loss.

Hello! Writing books while surrounded by the last orange pick as herbs dry on tin foil behind me.

We all read headlines about the chemicals used on many store-bought foods as well as the gigantic recalls of food for different reasons, so why wouldn’t people want to grow their own food as much as possible and skirt around chemical usage? Of course, more and more naturally grown  food options are becoming available, but unless you’re at a farmer’s market there’s a shipping time to consider when it comes to the freshness of the food you buy.*

Hmmm, we’re almost at the garden. The one minute walk is quicker than any car drive I might make to a nearby store; there are no lines to stand and wait on in a garden, but there’s another VERY important point to growing food. Recent studies show the actual nutritional value of store-bought produce has declined over the years.**

Here we are.  A perimeter row of marigolds are nice to see and may help cut down on the aphid population. (To the left of the post is an orange mint herb plant…wonderful. Parsley, sage, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and dill grow nearby.)

Because I’m crusty old, stubborn—maybe stupid—I still water my garden using two sprinklers set five feet high on opposite corners…I figure the water falls like rain so what’s not to like? There’s so much more to write here. Briefly, I figure rain is the natural growing environment for any plant, with the rain drops stimulating the leaves as they fall, so why do studies show underground irrigation and other newer techniques of watering give higher yields? Maybe, the water amount is the only major factor in growth, period.

So if you click on the picture above you might see several very large leafy plants(one near middle post) that are collard greens. I point these out because they were actually planted last September and have been yielding greens ever since last October! The taller tomatoes in the background are about six feet tall.

Below, just off-center to the right, is a broccoli plant that was planted along with the greens and it has also been giving broccoli for the past 8 months.

Shadow used to help me weed and dig the garden AND eat green beans right off the plants as I picked them. This went on for his first two years of life. Now, he seems to know he’s a dog and simply lets me do all the work and turns his nose up at fresh green beans. Still, he can’t help but lick his lips when we go out there. Me, too!

You know? I think I’ll go smell those gardenia flowers, again.

Cheers- thanks for stopping by!

Franque23

** http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37396355/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/nutritional-value-fruits-veggies-dwindling/#.Wv8JQDQvzcs

 

 

 


I think it’s time to sit down and type: I may have a cookie problem.

Cookies in computers are not exactly like cookies on a shelf. They help your browser locate your logins and stuff like that but hide info about you hackers might steal. So, unlike real melt in your mouth cookies to die for, computer cookies can be both good or bad for you.(:-) But why waste a glob on computer cookies when you can talk about sumptuous cookies to dream about?

 

It’s normal, I think, for a person to like cookies though I never have, at least not for many years. Sure, as a kid  me and my friends could stuff three or four cookies into our pie holes at one time and wash it all down with a coke(s).

“I’ll take three…”

This is how the terms, stupid kids, maniacs, wild jerks and heaven help us came to be. More, we soon figured out that we could sit in place and eat cookies and have twice the fun as we had going outside and spinning around in circles. Why work when all we had to do was eat?!?! (This was the start of the indoor drug craze.)

Cookies in the good old past made days better and parents difficult to hear. Plus, sometimes they came with fruit we never ate.

Back in history, it only took a kid once to understand that two cookies in the belly helped a fella get away from trouble faster.

We all knew the overdose cookie look when we saw it—those glazed over cookie eyes, uncontrollable, wiggling, tapin’ feet, that bent smile for no reason and a head full of bad ideas was easy to spot a block away. Having these famous symptoms was like wearing a scouting badge that outfit never offered but should have. Duh!

Merit Badge: catch a cookie in the mouth.

Anyway, about cookies. For me, doctor, it all started this year with Girl Scout cookies. I bought a box and then a few dozen more. Soon, I found myself daydreaming about how hilarious it would be to walk up to one of those small stands backed by a few moms and girl scouts and buy every box the entire troop had. Funny , huh? Then I started looking at my budget trying to figure how much five grand worth of Girl Scout cookies might set me back—you know, in terms of bills I wouldn’t be able to pay, maybe not ever. But, I’d have the cookies.

“I am sorry; I cannot help you. I am only a cookie.” —a Chinese fortune cookie.

It gets down to the fact that this cookie hobby of mine might take a doc to fix. Let’s just be real. It started with one cookie now and then but today I had four not counting another. Thing is, if we must be truthful, this whole cookie between my cheek and tongue habit really began with me picking and eating a home-grown grapefruit from my yard. I’m serious. The facts are I picked 17 grapefruit on Sunday, ate just one, and now, two days later, I’m eating four or five-ish cookies per day. Please tell me, the madness will never stop!

I’ve found Heaven!

 

So, I don’t need a cookie doctor but rather some expert on grapefruits. That’s nuts, huh? Go figure! I’ve never looked up this type of doc before, maybe, I don’t remember. But, there’s one thing I certainly need. I need a cookie hiding robot, sorta like the carpet sweeper thingy that goes around carpet cleaning all day by itself except my robot would specialize in cookie hiding.  The robot would know the minute I found the cookies and hide them again in increasingly more difficult to find locations. Finally, I’d have to dismantle the robot and put it by the curb—then, I’d be happy.

Obviously, this whole mess about eating seven or eight cookies is about happiness. One cookie makes a guy feel swell and two even better. Three cookies kick the day off nicely while four make you want to dance. Five, six, seven cookies make you delirious until finally you’re eating so many cookies you’re miserable and only cookies can cure you. The Girl Scouts know this, BTW. I should bring them grapefruits.

That’s about it for the cookie/grapefruit problem someone else had. This isn’t really about me, couldn’t be, no, not ever.  Not revealing their identity was hard work. I almost feel sorry for the guy. Anyway, I heard on Fox news that a fisherman said Thin Mints should be outlawed. It may be the next big splash on the airwaves.  News is all so tricky; what hooks and what doesn’t is hard to figure, right?

I guess my computer will save this cookie to the hard drive while I go eat one or ten circular morsels on my shelf.

 

Plus, I need a new scale.

Cheers

Franque23…gobble, gobble.

 

 

 

 


That’s right. With just a single stroke of something, Shadow has a miraculous hole in his ear flap.

A sock in my face and a hole in my ear—

“Wait! Do you mean I’ll have a hole in my ear when I grow up?”

It all started without me knowing, though my wife had noticed the small offending,’bimp,’* for a while. It wasn’t big enough to be called a bump and not so big to think it wouldn’t go away. Of course, I hadn’t seen a thing since I use, ‘Guy-eyes,’ 100% of the time. Guy-eyes have the unique talent of selectively not seeing when it comes to things like dirty floors, dishes, walls, cars, yards, holes in dog’s ears, just about anything that relates to work or trouble or spending money. Any wife will tell you that, ‘Guy-ears,’ work about the same way. A dripping faucet becomes part of Beethoven’s Fifth symphony and a sink full of dirty dishes is no less than abstract art to guy-eyes. Yard trash is merely a small replica of a Burning Man exhibit in the works. No, my guy-eyes and ears didn’t see anything until Shadow’s special spot started to dazzle spinning disco lights and play sirens that could drown out an ambulance’s song.

Once, my wife called firemen to check on a smokey smell in our house. They searched around as I slept through the whole thing. It’s all about mind-power. I’m on guard 24/7 with this stuff.

More, guys like me have incredible tolerances when it comes to doing very little until we want to get going.  So Monday a week I fell into noticing this spot on Shadow’s ear flap that had now earned the name, ‘bumple’.

“Tick.” I ran upstairs to get the magnifying glass and tweezers.

Leafing thru random news today……

Just a, err,  head’s up! Did you know that  John Boehner  ex-republican speaker of the House is now a CEO of a, Pot, as in weed, company?

Of course, there is this. Shadow is the best dog, the most obedient dog, a polite eater, a perfect beggar and a relaxed, no jumping-up dog who constantly does jump-up with a smile. Except, that is, when my wife or I notice something, a scratch, a tiny piece of dirt, a bit of tree lice, an embedded minute twig or anything else on him.  Exploring the most teeny-weeny, infinitesimal speck of nothing becomes an all-out no can do with this dog. Once our fingers start to investigate anything on Mr. ‘I’m so good,’ he goes into terror mode—his eyes, oh how wide; his tongue now a flashing dart so merry; who knew a dog could twist his neck in so many directions with a paw beside his nose? The body wiggles’ attack any probing finger making the entire dastardly exploration nearly impossible!

“How is any of this going to help me swim better?”

I managed to discover that the offending spot was not a tick but a true bump of a spot!! In aggressive guy fashion, I put off thinking about this for another day, or four days until it was time for our Friday afternoon car ride. That’s when an uncontrollable force drove me and Shadow to the vet who said, “I don’t operate on Saturdays so bring him in at 7 AM Monday morning…”

Gulp!

We have so many more gardens to grow together!

You’ve been helping me weed for four years….

Monday came after a weekend of my mind trying not to construct a gallows or grave for my dog. Dreaded what-ifs became many bowls of ice cream; he’s gonna be fine became my version of the Chiffon’s, “He so Fine.”** Worse, we had to wait a week to hear the biopsy report after Shadow survived the operation. No matter, Shadow’s worth one week of distracted thought and his clown collar gave us plenty of laughs as he banged into walls, chairs and doors before he learned to navigate with a head the size of a huge watermelon.

Ol’ Clown collar face was not happy with his new arrangement at first, but check out his newly manicured toe-nails?!?

“Why do you keep looking at my ear?” Well, first off, it’s the other ear, Shadow. Nice try though.

Drum-stick roll……

Shadow’s fine as it turns out, but for the hole in his ear. Will it heal and close? The jury’s still out but I think he will weigh one hole less when this is all done. But the pills he’s had to take have brought him a boat load of treats and Shadow’s happy about that.

Jump for joy! “Will  I get to wear a clown collar one day? Look at me go!!!”

Sometimes, I almost think he likes wearing that clown collar?!?!?

This last operation episode puts Shadow in the—most expensive dog we ever owned—category.  This is due to his propensity to charge after squirrels through brush, trees, fence and field in random directions with a hurricane force of will. The facial cuts keep coming.  In the end, I imagine Shadow will resemble a boxer, not the dog but the guy in the ring. Speaking of rings,  if Shadow retains his ear flap hole it will be tempting to place a ring through it! But he’d just get that caught on something and rip his ear flap in half.  Sigh.

We not only have the best dog in the whole world, but one with a hole in his ear flap, too! How special is that, baby?

Cheers from thank-goodness land.

And of Thanks, these broccoli, collard greens and kale have been yielding since last October!!! I picked more broccoli today, 4/11/18?!?! Does this give you seed for thought?

Franque23

 

 

 

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3UP2FraDCU

**https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rinz9Avvq6A

 

 

 


I got up so late this morning I almost missed my nap!

Yesterday, Friday, I drove across town after work with my cone-head wearing dog* to get pool supplies, drove home and got the pool cleaned and mulched the garden for the second time this spring,

This is how I mulch the garden-I drive around and pick up other people’s yard rakings, haul it back in my car and dump it on my garden. This works well as long as I off-set the acidity of the leaves with lime.

Then,  I fertilized 17 citrus trees and replaced a cracked mower blade and mowed until 7:30 PM. It was a great start to what would have been a productive wkend until today, Saturday.

 

I ‘arose’ feeling so unlike the tea roses in our yard…

Today, I’ve a bad case of stuck-in-a-chairitush as I wonder if I should move to the couch.

Nah, the couch is like two rooms away and they say it might rain Tuesday so why bother to move now? Plus, there’s a 60% chance of raindrops today; that means going outside would risk getting hit by one. I might as well stay in butt-put mode.

Actually, here’s the deal. In my world, if it rained on Saturday all workers would get Monday off. Being off wkends is a hard-fought for union negotiated right! All the other work days of the week are just a bunch of made up crap—and there are soooo many!?!?!

So yeah, our wkend’s deserve payback from the week days if it rains on Saturday.  But what about rainy Sundays? Of course, to keep in line with our Judeo-Christian values rainy Sundays means workers should get two days off that following week. Why? Obviously, any rain sent on a Sunday came from God and who’s gonna mess with Him? If God makes it rain on Sunday then  he’s all in with us getting the two days off. Period.

But I have questions. Does God like to play golf?

And I have answers. The real reason for not paying my newspaper subscription is so I don’t have to go get it off the lawn right now. First off, this would entail me getting out of my chair, that’s iffy. Plus, the wind is out there; wind and sun, but I just know there’s also a raindrop or two out there somewhere and it might hit my head.

Go ahead laugh, but only bald people know about raindrops hitting heads. “Hats!” You say? “Bats wearing hats!” I say. It’s your turn.

But, being bald has advantages, too.

Dad’s WWII hat might help?

BTW, Kerry, a wonderful person to work around, hmm, I mean not to work around as avoid but, with, anyway, she had a dog named, Mookie, who retrieved the newspaper each day from the lawn! See-that’s good genes, but have you ever weighed your jeans?

I’m talking about the real kind of blue-jeans, not those thin stretchy things people wear over undies no one can tell you have on. No, this is about the good ol’ regular kind of jeans real cowboys wear–they’re freakin’ heavy!! So, no, I’m not wearing jeans today, just shorts and paisley patterned undies.

That should about do it though there is one more little thing. It’s great they have food service deliveries to the house door now, but who’s gonna feed me the food?

This day is gonna be full of work.

Franque23

*

Shadow has a cone-head today, but that’s another glob.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Who knew? Darth Vader’s line would have been, “Luke, I am your mother…”if stars wars had been about the future. 

Things have changed when a President clearly pays off a porn whore to keep quiet about him screwing her as his wife gives birth and his supporters don’t care so much? But wait! What about that blow job Clinton got for free from a not whore gal? That seemed to matter!?!?!

Here’s a kicker: Stormy Daniels who can be seen doing anything in porn shots (just google it like I did to know) actually asked a reporter, ‘If someone offered to pay you three times as much for a job you have been doing wouldn’t you do it?’ https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/12/politics/stormy-daniels-payment-return/index.html

Well, actually, I can think of about 50 million people at least in this country alone who  wouldn’t do the things Stormy does for three times the money-not ten times; not one hundred times. Dare I say-never? You can go look and see what she does to know why I make the claim.

Meanwhile, we have Jennifer Lawrence backed into a corner by an interview that makes her proclaim that she likes, D–k, but does worry about STD’S. I pray to God our grandfathers and grandmothers aren’t listening. If so, graveyards across America would look as though gigantic horrendous moles had turned over each grave.

So here’s the point. Trump sucks d–k for a President. He blows. He’s  a creep of a man who most likely did piss on Russian underage prostitutes. He’s a man who admits he grabs pussy when he can. We all know it. Worse, this scum bag is actually President of the U.S. Supporters of  Trump-turn and run away. This man above all, above everything he has done sexually that is wrong, abusive, degrading to women, and completely unacceptable,  he is a megalomaniac who would blow up our world to save his own self—Other men in history have done the same.

Representatives who think they can belittle our own children who escaped death in a high school shooting by calling them lesbians, any name, they are so stupid, and so gone…done. These,’children,’ are going to ignite the county and boot your ass so far off the planet you will have no home to rest in,,not even your own head will rest until you die after you see the reality of our time. You are old, bad news.

Recently I saw Dylan sing, The answer is blowing in the Wind, and , in truth, the man has no idea. His world has been completely blown away, gone, kaput, fini, washed up and dumped into a cesspool of acceptable lies, cheats, whores and thieves, a crap load of leaders the likes he’d never known when he wrote the song.

However, there is an answer.

Representatives who take money from the NRA to run their campaigns and then vote to allow the sale of automatic weapons that kill our kids in school are done. You’re finished as of 2018.

Representatives who continue to vote legislation against LGBPTTQQIIAA+ (meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, intergender, asexual, ally and beyond) while they’re so often caught being part of this group- they’ re gone. BTW, the famous J Edgar Hoover who paraded against Homosexuals as head of the FBI while he was one himself is a perfect example.

Representatives who pretend to care about fetus’ while cutting every possible money advantage to the poor starving kids, and suggesting those who seek abortions should be legally charged are throw backs, done candidates. Disgusting is your label for history. Enjoy that.

Paul Ryan- you are one of the worst. You are on our list.

Representatives who give tax cuts to the rich and triple our Nation’s debt this way and then turn around and say that Medicare, Medicaid  AND Social Security must be cut due to deficits–they’re gone. Ryan, take that boat load of crap and put it up your ass…and I’m saying this in the nicest, newest terms possible

Go ahead, Dismantle Obama care and enjoy the ride out of Washington …Representatives who think they can disallow benefits to the needy, the poor, our veterans, our elders, our country—you are on one roller coaster to hell… You aren’t worth a shit.

Here’s to the people. Power to the people! Power to the kids….remember to march  on March 24th. Remember to vote these suck heads out of office. Remember to care about one another, no matter our color or race. Remember to put our best foot forward and send this bunch of suck heads back into the gutter they came from. Remember Hitler-this shall never happen again! Not ever…and most of all…

Never Again…no, we will turn the page on school shootings…go to the voting booths and protect our children with your vote. As a great man  once said: “Screw the NRA.” We are gonna win this fight.

God Bless America.

For a buck(s) Trump may get top silence Stormy- I don’t know…but we can get our , ‘Change,’ no matter what the courts say. We can win…I’ve seen it happen in the Nam protests….Don’t stop.

“Children….We are your parents…..” Me.

Franque23


Listen up you fat gobbler. Sure, you had good intentions for 2017 but that all went zip when the stuff-your-face holidays arrived. Look at you; you’ve redefined the meaning of,’Extra wide load’. You’re a red eyed, stumbling person who went to the fridge to get broccoli and came out with two popped beers and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Heck, you needed the drinks to help wash down that box of chocolates you just couldn’t give away! No matter, rotten veggies work better in the compost then beer bottles.

Face it, if your butt sagged anymore you’d have to roll from the bed to the kitchen to slurp up breakfast before going to work.

And when you get to work what what do you see? It’s those eight blurry tiny reindeer that have oddly appeared throughout your days since Christmas plus several workmates who give you the look—the look that darts from your drippin’ jowls and turkey neck to your eyes and says, “God, how can you still walk?”

 

It’s so bad showers are scary.

You’d wash but how many bars of soap would that take? Besides, balloons don’t take showers.

Thing is, two towels clipped together with clothes pins easily wrap around your belly so what’s to hate? I’m certain that looking down after showers reveals nothing of toes, and nothing of anything else that might protrude either but why worry? It just one gigantic sloppy view of lumpy fat that makes you think about skiing, or how you’ve gone down that slippery slope of second helpings. Just deal with it, right?

It’s true, your dog doesn’t even know you. The tail wags as he runs behind a chair.

Hmmmm, okay, let’s get real…

Look, you obtuse slurping low life chomper-this is about more than the spiral ham you sucked up, the pulled pork barbecue you smeared on your belly or the steaks, roasts, lamb and turkey your diet slipped on. NO, this is more than just about the honey carrots—just add more sugar, dear— the smashed, buttered potatoes or sweet potatoes—pass the brown sugar—the twelve pies, apple, cranberry, key lime and pecan all topped with ice cream, the enormous amount of cheese melted on the cauliflower? or the bacon burgers served with anything that can be fried.

No, that’s just a thin slice of the reason people must wonder how your elongated ear lobes can hang on either side of your over stuffed skull.

This is what it’s about: I know you and your New Year’s Eve resolution to stop eating with both hands at the same time.

I promise!

Let’s be honest.  This is really about holiday peer pressure. It’s all too much. Basically, you’re innocent; just another consumer who never had a chance. I know you meant to be good this holiday season—think of the mosquitoes just waiting it feast on you— but things happen. I bet you blame the women around you who peddle sweets for a living or all those chocolate factory workers whose jobs depend upon your consumption of their nefarious means of earning a livin’. Oh, the guilt brought on when passing up all that hard work stacked to buy in the shopping isles!

See? I know you.

You’ll probably try to diet again in 2018. Ha! As if…

I also know if I keep talking to the mirror this morning I’m gonna be late for work!

Cheers….good luck.

Now where’s my toothbrush? Wait! It’s under that half eaten chocolate bar. Odd? Gosh, I hate to waste food, and this may be some of that no calorie or extra light chocolate I’ve never heard about?!?!

It’s a brand new year, baby!

Franque23


(Of course, click on the pic for a larger view.)

I’d be cutting zzz’s right now instead of writing this glob if hair-head Shadow paws hadn’t decided my two-hour nap as planned was too long. But no, one hour pushed hocker I’ve-been-eating-grass face over the edge and illegally onto my bed. This found me clutching three pillows to my face as four paws  clomped all over my body. This criminal activity happens every morning and once my eyes open I see this:

Ol’ tail-cut-like-a-knife butt-head doing the two socks are stuffed in my face shuffle.

Morning, afternoon, evening, heck anytime at all finds Shadow with one sock in his face( only my socks are allowed-he knows.) He holds it there to protect us from his happy snapping jaws. But two socks in those jaws means we’re about to have extra fun throwing the ball or, as in the case of the picture above, that he’s been secretly foraging for treats in the laundry room….

This is Shadow under his mother—he’s that little black smidgen of a puppy on the right. Surprise! He’s eating!!(Shadow as pup, some weeks after this shot, was found inside the dog food bag.)

Shadow’s an all around I’m-here-for-you-pet-me great dog; he knows all the rules by heart and only breaks them as necessary: “there’s a squirrel on the feeder so I gotta bark and stretch way up high on the window,” is one of Shadow’s favorite moments of freedom from the rules.

Shadow is watching his “TV”…and for a ‘hint’ of a squirrel.

Of course, there’s more. That neighbor in our doorway has no idea how many times we’ve said, “No jumping…” because Shadow is not technically jumping with his paws on the new victim, but only springing up three feet high in every direction as if he were on a Pogo stick.

“I wasn’t really jumping.”

“Consider that I can fly before passing judgement.”

“Really.”

It’s amazing that Shadow never begs, not technically. He has unearthly powers of knowing when we have finished eating and it’s time to come over to us; that’s nice. No, Shadow does remain away from us while we eat but for one glitch in his near perfect manners. We about need to mop the floor after we eat anything Shadow loves-“I’ll stay in place with my jaws droolin’ like a turned on faucet as you eat; no problem.”

“Promise.”

Dogs live in a contagious zone of happiness unless they are abused, sick or hurt. To be clear, dog abusers-whether they can play football of not- should be hung-up to dry for several weeks while random passer’s by get to whop the criminals with sticks. The only question is how long?

  “About twelve years.”

When you get down to it, dogs know right from wrong better than most people.

Toby toes knew not to open a present until he got the green light.

Sometimes dogs just can’t help themselves when it comes to smelly garbage cans, open refrigerators, a left cookie, a neat stuffed pillow to rip apart or other tantalizing components to life. Dogs will even try to steer their companion dog away from trouble, but often to no avail.

 

 

Right from the get-go they know right from wrong.

“Well, that might have been a bad idea…..”

“Okay, it was a bad idea….”

But who can say…

 

If shadow does make a mistake, chasing a squirrel that looks like our mailman’s truck,  he might try to ‘offset’ his slippin’ paws with humor…

and see if he can’t dig himself out…

Relentless Digging….puppy’s new American Native name.

In the end, it’s all about a dog’s tail.

You’re about to feed me, right?

The tail wagging give-away speaks volumes to those who care to listen. Seize  the day! It’s time to play! Thank goodness you’re up; it’s time to pee! How can you sit there on a day like this? These are the question that face dog owners everyday, question too hard to brush aside. If you try to ignore a dog’s truth then the ears get involved, the cocked head turns as an exclamation point and the, “I’ll sit and shake,” comes into play.

Dog is God spelled backward but in essence they are both about goodness. Go snuggle that here’s-my-tummy-to-rub  doggie face of yours…These are the great times.

A dog is Man’s best friend, and maybe teacher, too.

Franque23.

 

See ya…

 

 


(click on the pic for a larger view.)

So it’s not just about growing vegetables. I guess Dale and I grow about everything we can—the birds(we get to know generations of Cardinals), the flowers(this Old Man Beard’s tree is a wonder every spring)*, the grass-why-oh-why?, 17 citrus trees, several orange varieties, two types lemons, figs, and we’ve one pineapple ripening now and four more forming with 32 planted. Of course, our pears only yield as squirrel food.  Oh yes, we grow squirrels, like it or not.

Bunch of lemons last year.

Feeding the Gold Finch who fly through in the Spring.

Right now, late August-early September, it’s time here in Gainesville to plant the fall garden. I’ll be hoping for green beans, potatoes, squashes, lettuce, the yellow squash, dark green zucchinis and tomatoes to come in for Thanksgiving and to freeze to use during the winter months.

The crops of spring or fall vary from year to year. Two years ago I picked 32 pounds of green beans, but this year’s spring garden with the same planting produced about 5 pounds?!?! Ya just never know with gardening.

The Gardenia is wonderful, and huge—it’s near our front door—but another more unusual planting is directly next to the front door. This indigenous Jasmine is not the kind you so often see growing in clumps around mail boxes or on fence lines. No, this Jasmine grows more like bamboo and even sometimes 12 feet high while dying off to the ground after cold weather. Located in front of our living room  bay window, this plant provides cover from the summer’s sun while letting the winter daylight in. I often use the heavier stalks left leafless after a freeze for tomato stakes the next spring.

337

The night blooms fill the yard with a splendid aroma.

.

Oh, right, we’re helping grow Grandchildren as well…

There is nothing like a yard ripened Pineapple.

Let’s put two and two together and come with an answer that’s good ‘four’ all of us!

The start of a pineapple garden.(I got the tops from a grocer.)

Life on the planet is truly amazing.

The oldest known Baobab tree in Limpopo Province, South Africa, is thought to be 1700 years old. Catch this link if you have time **

 

And although there’s nothing like seeing works of man, like a magnificent Greek statue, some of them make me lose my appetite.

As with gardens, ya never know what might or might not pop up now-a-days.

Anyway—-back to appetites.

 

I’m hoping everything comes up roses this Fall for all of you who plant anything. There’s nothing like taking time out to work your butt off beneath the sound of the birds, the wind through the trees and with the sweet smells of Life tickling your nose.

Cheers.

Franque23

*

photo 2

068 (2)

The Old Man’s Beard tree is coming out again.

 

**https://www.bigbaobab.co.za/

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