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(click the pic for a larger view)

Dogs are spirit given to our lives…. they know us, help us and protect us… There’s nothing like a dame was once a famous song…(Ha! Now-a-days it might get the deep six, thumbs down action I suspect)… Well yes, I say, there’s nothing like a woman, but there’s nothing like a dog as well:-) Not to equate the two!)

This is my dog, Shadow, smiling bright.

Try dog ownership if you haven’t; your heart-felt energy will enlarge and your life will be a richer experience. Although there are studies that find people who own and love dogs live longer, better, happier lives than those who don’t, there are also similar findings when people who associate with horses or pets of all kinds are compared to those who don’t.

My daughter on her horse, Toby.

Just a guess, but I’m thinking people who open themselves up to loving any or all kinds of life around them find fulfillment in their lives, while those who don’t short-change the scope and breadth of what their own lives might be.

I float better with Shadow in the pool…maybe.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13: 3 (NIV)

It’s interesting that this idea be termed , ‘A new command,’ at the time of Jesus, as though the thought had never been expressed before.

The American Zen teacher John Daido Loori shows us that Zen practice should include not only meditation, the study of Zen literature and liturgy, and moral and ethical action, but should also manifest in work, artistic, and everyday activities….

Basically, you could pick any major religion throughout the world and find the same advice: love one another. But, to expand this thought, Jesus never said it’s okay to kick the dog as you’re busy loving people. No, everyone and everything is included in, “Love one another…” Of course, Native Americans understood that all of creation is sacred.

What about wars? Wars happen; people are far from perfect.

Empathy is a one to one ratio. The more we notice the life around us and it’s living condition, the more empathy we feel. Turning a blind eye to the suffering of our human condition and our Earth’s situation does nothing but blind us. None of us can solve the world’s problems alone, but the pebble thrown into a lake analogy certainly applies. Every good or bad action we do is that pebble, and the ripples that spread out from its splash may reach shorelines, people and places, we can’t even see as we throw that little stone.

My advice? Be kind to yourself: be as good a person as you can be. If you do this, you will sleep easier at night. I’m thinking if we do manage to strive to do our best (hey-I think that’s a Boy Scout motto?) then we are less inclined to worry about the future. That future will come as it may but when it does we will know we’ve done our best. No worries; you’ve done everything you could’ve to improve life.

Take that leap of faith in love.

Alfred E Neuman: what me worry? I loved Mad magazine as a boy (like now) and my Southern Baptist upbringing aligned my understanding of these words with the church teachings to not worry. Thing is, in truth, the history of Alfred E Neuman’s face and its historical meaning  is something different altogether. In fact, Neuman’s face has been used at least since 1883…and to sell mince Plum pudding.

And, later on…

Worse, another version of Alfred E Neuman’s face was used by the Germans during world War II and captioned, “Kill the Jews.” Honest. (Not the picture above.)

So, my interpretation of Neuman’s, ‘What me worry,’ illustrates how what we think about things is related to our preconceived notions, and those notions are usually based upon what we’ve been taught to think. Self realization derived from observation and deduction is a bit skewed now in the human experience. We are taught to be who we think we are. Often, this is not the case at all.  Most often, we are people just like most, people with needs, wants, hopes, dreams and empathy but we’ve been subtly taught to turn off this understanding. We’ve been encouraged to turn a blind eye to the condition of humanity and our earth.

It’s time to turn ourselves back on.

It’s time to be joyful.

My sister, Sharon Franquemont, published a book, “You Already know What To Do.” * This book, published in nine languages throughout the world, makes many points but my favorite is the concept that intuition should be taught in schools as a subject. This way, we might help our children get in touch with themselves, their inner sense of life’s order and magnitude, and how their lives relate to all growth. The world would be a better place if society expressed a true interest in our inner selves and how that inner self relates to the world around us. Point: Dogs help people do this.

Having a dog, or any pet, helps us express love for something other than ourselves and, in turn, that pet loves us back. This way, people learn how love flows from us and back to us. We learn how good this exchange of love feels. Soon, and not depending on the amount of LSD or pot you’ve smoked in the 70’s, the notion that loving the people, the animals , the trees or even the rocks we pass returns love to us becomes less remote and, in fact, a real life experience.

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Let’s put a bow on this. Yes, try loving your neighbor, but it might be mastering that process is easier done if you start with loving a doggie, or pet of any kind…. good luck.

Cheers, and I hope the ripples from my pebble reach you at a most fortuitous time and in the best of light. Namaste; to your light.

Franque23

 

*https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0874779464/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

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( added pictures below post…send me your pictures on FB=gerald franquemont)

My cousin’s wife says it all for dog lovers the world over. That post of her’s is included below.

But first, I’ve my own, ‘Shadow,’ a Catahoula Leopard who is my constant companion.

Shadow enjoys the flowers.

From my  parent’s dog, Socks, to our family dogs over the years, I’ve rarely lived without having a dog making home life better.

Socks lived about 18 years.

Man’s best friend: you can’t say it any better.

Orion is one of my favorite, ‘Reading Dogs,’ at the library.

Our part Basenji, Toby, used to prance as he walked so we called him, ‘Toby-Toes.’

Cheers, and a big thanks to Jessica for posting this wonderful piece. Sob; sighs and I understand. There’s nothing like a dog’s ability to love us back.  Here’s Jessica’s post, and just wow.

Jessica with her dog, Pedro.

Jessica Franquemont posted:

“My Buddy Pedro:

Your butt wiggle going down the stairs,
Your gentle bite when taking a treat,
Your wandering security walk along the fence line, 
Your short sunbathing nap by the water fountain followed by a good roll in the red bark to scratch your back with happy doggie snorting & all,
Your old man delay, non-threatening beagle bark, & “swagger run,” when hearing Ellie bark before you at a possible thief/burglar/food thief/mail carrier/neighbor/pizza guy/cat/other dog/kid,
My first time sadness upon seeing an empty Chipotle burrito wrapper on the floor without my left over ½ burrito realizing you are taller than Ellie & can counter surf,
Your first time with me in the pet store when you stole a bone shaped treat off the bottom shelf, tried to eat it, & I had to do a pity purchase with the cashier,
Your sleeping on the couch with your face between the pillows,
Finding your head sticking out of my poofy pink Halloween tutu I left on my bed,
Your gentle mouth hold of a whole loaf of bread/pack of tortillas (& all things carbs) off the “no dog shelf” trying to saunter away,
Your slight pushiness after anyone sat down to proudly lay your 32 pounds in their lap & slip your beagle nose under their hand to prompt neck scratchies for a very long time then get up abruptly when said scratching stops,
Your & Ellie’s patient waiting under messy Talia’s dinner chair for any slight semblance of a crumb,
Your love of TP from any bathroom to your crate with one continuous very long stream of toilet paper,
Your binge on Beth’s Scentsy samples that were only the food scented ones,
You & Tyler’s love for each other,
You being my literal shadow & never letting me be in a room alone.
You lived 12 years & 117 days & we got to re-home you with us for 3 years 250 days. We are a more loving family because of you. Last Thursday a huge chunk of my heart had to say goodbye to you & since then I’ve been devastated & lonely without my short shadow following me. I know by having a loving pet, we as humans pay a price for having to make “that decision.” But the animal lover in me would never have left you alone in your last minutes of your wonderful life. Knowing you had just a little more time & getting to rest my nose one last time on top the bridge of your nose is worth all the heartache. I love & miss you my Pedro Buddy.”

It always come down to this: the love shared with a dog during their short lifetime is worth the pain of the loss no matter how long that lasts…

Cheers!

Franque23 loves dogs.

Here’s a link to a previous glob I wrote in, 2009, about a dog’s spirit.

https://franque23.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/red-dog-forever/

047 (2)Shadow smiling.

43084590_10215968635224417_5309031580214231040_nFrank Lamont

43003389_10216374788097893_7445415606792224768_n Andrew Faint’s , Bo , with his son.

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relatives Virginia Murphy Rotteveel…sleep tight.

10981825_10205764348932987_2147238761169876219_n (1)My ‘Shadow’ writer…

42946595_10216374792378000_3421119692406784000_nAndrew Faint’s, Frankie…

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Shakespear, in OR recovery, Wendy Schneider…..

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Yes, this is a hedgehog pet with, Spooky.  They live together. Part of ,Juut Von Franquemont’s group.

 

 

 

 


It’s spring. I haven’t seen as nice a one in Gainesville for three years. It’s cool and has been since March first. Here we are, hitting the last week in April and low clouds keep the sun off as flowers reach for the sky. Birds take baths for fun as bees hum like a humming bird’s wings.

Lately, for years, it’s been way too hot in April to call it spring. The blazing temperatures have started early and blasted through the land until October. But this isn’t the norm, not if you consider the past forty years. This year has felt right. The winter hit hard for ten days or so and now March and April have refused to spring forth too quickly.

Have you ever noticed how some people come into your life like season’s change your window view? Some personalities bluster their way into your life as a March 1st wind but then drift off, they move, change or seem so different from what you thought. Soon, they are quietly gone, never to be seen again, as if they were a lamb you never knew but watched trot over a hillside you won’t traverse. Other’s secretly appear without notice, but bloom in months or years right under your nose into your everyday experience and you can’t remember when they weren’t there.

Of course, there are those who insist on being every season of person—you call it a stormy relationship, one you can’t contain but wish to keep. They give both smiles and trimming to your everyday self.  You know, the self you think of being the same as when you were half as old. Some seasons of life pass so unnoticed, don’t they? The old whisper to the young, “Take your time and appreciate what you have.” Thing is, when you’re a young burning pit of passion and energy, it’s hard to find a moment to sit back and take a picture of your life. And, it’s even harder to picture life being any different. 

A dog’s love can be like this. It’s learn this, fetch that, let’s go or sit and then in a few short 12 years or so they are gone.* 

(Don’t miss the link below if you love dogs….)

The season’s passing give us our best sense of time. Sundials came to Babylon about 6 thousand years ago and then the ,”Midday,” concept was made popular by the early Egyptians. Pluto invented the first water based alarm clock, but I’ve no idea what this means. Okay, I’ll take a guess. A sand hour-glass balanced a pot of water above your sleeping head until the sand ran out and the pot dumped a pile of cold water on your face?

I’ve always hated alarm clocks.

It’s during these early months of spring and fall when Florida truly becomes a peninsula weather wise. The air inversions over the ocean sends a smooth wind across the sands, the thick jungles and built-up cities of Florida. It’s a bit like Hawaii in Florida during the two seasons—those living in Hawaii are so lucky, right? But, maybe, every place can be magical.

It’s hard for me to imagine a more peaceful place than a late afternoon up at Lake Bonaparte.

Florida Palms made me laugh when I first hit town some 48 years ago. You don’t find these up North. Tall, skinny, they don’t provide much shade but once you hear the wind blow through their rustling fronds you understand.

There’s a life to this part of Northern Florida, where there are still many more trees than people, and maybe many more lakes, streams and brooks than roads. Here, the bear, coyote, brown, red and grey fox trot. Deer move by mostly at night, even the wild boar plunder the brush—the panther lives. Like us, those animals and the eagles, hawks, birds of every kind, all living things are all touched by the seasons.

We live in an ocean of time.**

Thing is, it’s possible now that all the animals and even the earth are touched more by us than by the seasons. It’s odd to think that the entirety of life is counting on us. They’re counting on mankind making sense like the seasons have for millenniums, that we will come and pass to leave the future open.

Let’s leave it open…

( Thanks to Bonaparte’s web site for picture.)

A seasoned person is one well schooled by life.  We have great thinkers, great leaders, inventors of all kinds, but are we seasoned? Have we been?

I hope the sand in our hour-glass doesn’t run out too late to wake us up.

Franque23

We have to dream big.

*https://franque23.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/toby-toes-youre-a-good-dog/

** My wife of 38 years, though I’ve known her for 45, but who’s counting;-) Bye.


If you read on you’ll realize we are all in the same boat on this Mexican deal-crowded-cruise-ships

The President’s idea to add a 20% tax on imports from Mexico to finance the Great Wall of America doesn’t really fly with me-not so much…Why? Well, if you’ll lift a glass with me we can get on to that. sombrero

I get the feeling that most American’s are in the same dark I am in when it comes to understanding the actually workings between Mexico and America. We hear or read each day about the drug cartels and illegals crossing our border, but what else goes on between America and Mexico?

It turns out the flow of goods and services between Mexico and America are Huge.

America and Mexico  interchange 1.6 billion dollars worth of trade everyday! (2015 stats) See? That’s a bit of pocket change. On the world-wide stage Mexico is America’s third largest Import/Export partner.

I keep thinking about the idea of building a wall between us and our third largest trade partner. Honestly, I’d no idea! But, maybe, it’s important to see what we trade back and forth? I mean it wouldn’t hurt the US if Mexico’s major export  to us was, say, Twinkies, right. Don’t get me wrong, I loved these as a kid, but I could’ve lived without them.

This brings us to a quick run down of what actually passes hands between America and Mexico…

Here’s a short list of what the US imports from Mexico

  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: vehicles ($74 billion), electrical machinery ($63 billion), machinery ($49 billion), mineral fuels ($14 billion), and optical and medical instruments ($12 billion).

U.S. imports of agricultural products from Mexico totaled $21 billion in 2015, our 2nd largest supplier of agricultural imports. Leading categories include: fresh vegetables ($4.8 billion),other fresh fruit….

  • ($4.3 billion), wine and beer ($2.7 billion), snack foods ($1.7 billion), and processed fruit & vegetables ($1.4 billion).

Hmmm…I like fruit and I drive to stores to buy fruit. Wait!?!?! Does this list “2.67 billion per year in wine and beer!” See? Screwing this trade up just isn’t gonna get it for me.feature-mexican-beer-tecate-modelo-dos-equis-vitoria-ambar

There’s something about this Great Wall /Tax Mexican imports 20% that doesn’t quite fit.cocktail-dogs-two-funny-drinking-cocktails-bar-beach-club-party-ocean-view-45230354

Here’s a short list of what America exports to Mexico

  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: machinery ($42 billion), electrical machinery ($41 billion), vehicles ($22 billion), mineral fuels ($19 billion), and plastics ($17 billion).
  • U.S. exports of agricultural products to Mexico totaled $18 billion in 2015, our 3rd largest agricultural export market. Leading categories include: corn ($2.3 billion), soybeans ($1.4 billion), dairy products ($1.3 billion), pork products ($1.3 billion), and beef products ($1.1 billion).

So if all this back and forth were to be disrupted it seems a few workers might be out jobs in the States… Actually, to be specific, 1.1 million American workers are employed solely in providing the goods and services we export to Mexico…This seems like a lot of jobs, a lot of mom’s and dad’s livelihoods depend on trade with Mexico. Should we let the building of the Great Wall between our two country’s screw this up? Plus, er, there’s that wine and beer thingy stat.

One more I’m the most interesting man in the world thought—

Isn’t that Super bowl thing coming up, ya know, the one where American’s consume enough wine and beer to sink the world? Can we just maybe put off this Great Wall add 20% to cost of goods and drinks from Mexico for about another 100 years? Let’s re-think this deal.

Maybe we should think about taking another course?

Maybe we should think about taking another course?

Okay, one more idea or two. I’ve got the nagging feeling that our President’s main attraction to building this Great Wall of America is that it will stand as a testament to his Presidency whether it works or not. AND–when Paul Ryan says the Congress can find a way to pay for this wall isn’t he really talking about our tax dollars paying for it? It doesn’t matter what name the Congress gives the funding, right-it’s still our money paying for it. ”

McConnell estimated it(the Wall) will cost $15 billion at most — he cited a range of $12 billion to $15 billion.” (Other agencies estimate the Wall to cost 25 billion.)

Here’s one bottom line-when Trump manages to have Mexico call off their meeting with him today I think about running out and buying a truck load of Corona’s, Dos Equis, Negran Modelos and a few Tecates’ and Sols. Heck, I’ll be saving at least 20% on each bottle!

Can we maybe rethink this Great Wall idea? What do you all say?

Cheers…

Franque23


2015 has been a great year around our house. Kids growing; garden sowing. Not a hurricane in sight!

the pool is a playground-Isaiah makes the catch!

The pool is a playground-Isaiah makes the catch!

We learned early on that Shadow, our Catahoula Leopard, is quite a swimmer. Thing is, when I first carried him in the pool he swam to the pool’s edge for his life. When I saw his speed I began to wonder what we had on our hands. Checking his toes revealed our dog was actually a duck of sorts. Those webs between his toes go waaay up to his nails…But this is not to say Shadow took to the pool or lake water early on in his life-yeah, no, he spent almost a year running around the pool’s perimeter while we tried to coax him into the refreshing water.

He made me promise to never carry him into the water again-----so we had to wait.

He made me promise to never carry him into the water again—–so we had to wait.

Things changed after his first trip up to Lake Bonaparte when he gingerly stepped into the water and swam by his own volition for the first time.

Now, at two, Shadow is a swimming maniac, and no-can-stop jumper, a splashing and a I can swim even faster dog face day in day out.

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We noticed that his brown eyes turn blue(look blue) when he stands by the pool. This has to be due to some sort of strange under coating in his eye cause sometimes the camera flash has the same effect on his brown eyes. The Catahoula breed does sport blue eyes often, and sometimes one brown and one blue eye or, as in Shadow’s case, two brown eyes.  Shadow cleared ten feet through the air off our dock during his second year up at the lake.

"I'm absolutely ready to swim...."

“I’m absolutely ready to swim….”

especially up at the lake!

especially up at the lake!

Last year, the fifty-ish steps and  cliff up at the lake created a wonderland of sheer joy for this ready to go puppy. And there’s nothing like chasing squirrels.

Okay, so I love everything about our Catahoula Leopard, Shadow-I’ve made that plain enough over several blogs I call globs about him on this site. But there’s another question dog owners might wonder about. Just how much do dogs love us? The answer is amazing.

A recent study finds Dogs love their owners as much as people love people… the key is measuring the oxytocin level in the dogs’s blood stream when they are with those they love…Here’s the result of the study:

“A general breakdown, according to Zak is that we produce 15 to 25 percent oxytocin when we have a pleasant interaction with a stranger; 25 to 50 percent when we’re engaging with someone we know; and if we release 50 percent or more, it’s in response to someone we really love like a child or spouse.

During Zak’s experiment, dogs, on average, produced 57.2 percent.

“So your dog really loves you … a lot,” Zak said. “But what makes this so amazing is that the oxytocin they produced is for another species, not their own. The fact that this is cross species is really freakin’ crazy/cool. Their brains are telling them that they love us.”

Here’ the link-a-dink for reading further on this amazing study….http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cat-vs-dog-who-loves-humans-more_us_56af85a4e4b077d4fe8ed1ed?ref=yfp

I’ve had cats over the years that I’ve thought very special-a part of the family. Everyone knows a cat may be aloof at times and cuddly on other occasions but this study draws a line in the sand between cats and dogs.  The study’s findings break down a cat’s oxytocin level when they interact with humans. The finding? A cat’s affection for their humans can’t hold a candle to a dog’s love for Mankind. But I still think our miniature cats are super to have, hold and love. That’s just me.

The children are counting on us, and don't even know it.

I’m interested to know how other animals rate on the basis of this study-it could go on and on, and be so much fun to know.

Franque23

 

 

 


(click on pictures to make them larger.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The plane flight was worth it

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

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

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

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

Fun Times in Bookville...

Fun Times in Bookville…

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

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

Our trees inside and out were covered with oranges.

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

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

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

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

Cheers from Florida! Franque23

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

So yeah, sometimes the wind impresses me as much as anything nature has to offer. Wind. A soft , gentle breeze that lifts the hairs on my skin ever so slightly as it blows by, or evaporates the sweat off my body without notice is so refreshing-comforting.

Strong winds are amazing. I’d hang outside as a kid until the last possible minute to feel the winds of approaching hurricanes. Then, I’d play outside with my friends during the time the eyes of hurricanes passed over head.  I suspect this is because of life insurance policies my parents and my friend’s parent had out on all of us, but we didn’t think about that as we stomped through puddles and climbed newly fallen trees, balancing on their trunks and swinging through their branches. Funny, to this day, I still  remember the shock of finding a huge weeping willow tree down on its side. In truth, I still love that tree. The wind had taken it away, forever.

I often hang wind chimes outside our house. I guess I think of their chiming as the wind’s song. Rustling leaves, moving shadows, shirt tails flappin’ and tall pines whispering-nothing else is like the wind. This winter I felt the wind and remembered the willow from my childhood. I thought about storms, crunchy leaves rambling across streets and how my long hair used to blow across my face in the wind. Ha! My hair is gone now, but the wind remains forever-

I decided to try to capture the movement of wind on my winter bulletin board. Honestly, I hope I got close to capturing the feeling of wind on my board-just to share  my love for the wind, and all it does. And, of course, there’s reading in the wind….(click on the pictures for a better, bigger view.)

Breeze Through Our Collection---

Breeze Through Our Collection—

The unicorn's hair is a-blowin'

The unicorn’s hair is a-blowin’

The Rabbit wears a see-through sparkling coat

The Rabbit wears a see-through sparkling coat

The squirrel reads about veggies.....

The squirrel reads about veggies…..

maybe too dark to see, but this girls hair is made of yarn, her boots have buttons, her coats is shag,.....

maybe too dark to see, but this girls hair is made of yarn, her boots have buttons, her coats is shag,…..(the larger views let you see her much better)

Anyway,,,the wind makes me feel like I’m home again. This lyric is from a song I wrote in the 1970’s. The wind is in her name, the title of a tune I wrote in the 1980’s. It’s always been about the wind with me, though who could ever keep from looking up at the stars? Not me, and to think, there are windy nights.

Bye, for now.

Bye, for now.

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.

This is so much fun to do, and I find them, ‘fulfilling.’ Whaaaahaha!(You should be able to enlarge pics by clicking on them)

It's time for us all to enjoy the bounty! In just our headquarters branch of our  Alachua County library district, we will check out over one million items this year!

It’s time for us all to enjoy the bounty! In just our headquarters branch of our Alachua County library district, we will check out over one million items this year!

Hmmm…ya know-this must be my twentieth Thanksgiving bulletin board for the Alachua County Library District…. before that, countless retail window displays danced like sugar plums in my head!

Don't miss the mouse in the bowl or  the reading squirrel-my bulletin board's mascot since, like, ever.(Does that dog belong under the table?!?!)

Don’t miss the mouse in the bowl or the reading squirrel-my bulletin board’s mascot since, like, ever.(Does that dog belong under the table?!?!)

this blog’s random picture…

I can't make out the title....

I can’t make out the title….

I'm serving crow's feet!

I’m serving crow’s-feet!

IMG_1076

It was super fun building this set–and one great intern and one volunteer helped sooo much in the making…

Cheers! I've got to go back to work....

Cheers! I’ve got to go back to work….*

Anyway, from this turkey to yours…I wish you all the best of feast days–have the best time! (Special Thanks to Gail Carr for taking the shots of the board!-and to Odette Hinson for the special turkey hat-looove it!!) Here’s to you all!

Franque23

* Putting on Rumpelstiltskin was tough-but someone had to do it!

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

It cuts like a cold steel knife or burns our skin like a stove top. Weather. Weatherman or weather women, 50% right or wrong, command our attention every day by written word or by broadcast.

Here, in America, most weather reports offer the bare facts about what to expect in temperatures and precipitation in a cut and dry style.

Not to be out done  in weather reporting, the Czech Republic has a different take on how to predict  tomorrow’s weather…..

this is completely different-but the weather bears watching.

This is completely different-but some think the weather ‘bares’ watching.

“In the Czech Republic a meteorologist is considered crazy if they wear clothes. Each night a bit after midnight on one of the free to air TV stations a different “meteorologist” will present you the next day’s weather in quite an innovative way.  He or she will start stark naked then proceed to wear-put on- the clothes that you should wear to get through the next day.”*(you won’t believe this.)

See? Weather reporting styles vary from place to place.

For my dad, here in the States in the mid 1960’s, we didn’t have weathermen or ladies who shivered naked in a broadcasting’s studio’s cold AC. No! We had a guy in New York city I’ll never forget. Uncle Wethbee  was his name. The unique thing about his reporting was that he was a sketch artist, and drew pictures on large  paper  propped up on an easel that showed how the next day ‘s weather would/should/could be.

he was so cool to watch

He was so cool to watch

here's a drawing of a dog he said you wouldn't want to leave outside in tonight's cold.

Here’s a drawing of a dog Uncle Wethbee said you wouldn’t want to leave outside in tonight’s cold.

I loved to watch him draw freehand, live, right on-screen, and I’m glad Uncle Wethbee kept his clothes on,too. Anyway, one thing that astounded me as a child was how my dad would come home from work complaining before dinner that yesterday’s weather report had missed the call completely, and then rush without fail to see that’s night weather report right after our meal ! Now, maybe I get that, somewhat.

This post’s random shot…

Out Library gang at the Youth services department in Gainesville, Florida dress up for Dr. Seuss Da

Our Library gang at the Youth Services Department in Gainesville, Florida, dress up for Dr. Seuss Day.

People who grow food have to know about the weather; they care. My  dad was born in Iowa, and he  never lost a farming inborn DNA thread that linked his soul to the land and weather. I guess, part of that thread runs in me, and my sister as well-she grows food and flowers at her Oakland home. Me?  My thirty by forty(or so) garden is of great interest to me, and our acre also sports four lemon trees, two pear, two fig trees, four Chinese honey, one mandarin, one grapefruit tree, one blueberry bush and three red seedless navels. What this means in a nut shell is simple: before the cold strikes, I’ve got work aplenty to do.

I used thirty-three blankets to wrap my trees form four to six feet high

I used thirty-three blankets to wrap my trees from four to six feet high off the ground

I run clip on lights and holiday lights out to these trees for added warmth.

It took me tow-an-half hours Tuesday morning to get the pinning of the blankets done.

It took me two-and-half hours Tuesday morning to get the pinning of the blankets done.(Shadow’s sitting proud.)

I had to work at noon,,so I was out and about at 6 AM to start the project. Of course,  before I wrapped the trees, I had to pick about 1/2 of the fruit on them to insure I had some to eat in case the freeze set in so hard it turned the  crop to juice oranges only.

it took two and a half hours to pick about 300 oranges. to about 8:30 AM.

It took two and a half hours to pick about 300 oranges. to about 8:30 AM.

Several crates and a table top full of oranges….

another view of this years first pick ot bet the freeze

Another view of this years first pick to beat the freeze!

Hmmm good…the grands and us enjoyed 12 oranges for breakfast today!

But there was more to do...I culled the garden.

But there was more to do…I culled the garden.

I picked fifty green tomatoes, only three ripe, some lettuce, nine small egg-plant and some green beans-a kitchen tabletop full…

another view-

Another view

Of course Shadow helped the whole time,,,hauling blankets(away) and guarding me.

every alert!

Ever alert!

and always watching out!

This is his, "I wasn't chewing that toy truck-honest!" ears....

These are his, “I wasn’t chewing that toy truck-honest!” ears….

We shook hands when the job was done-

and ate a few green beans ....

and ate a few green beans ….

So, it was a fun morning….beating the freeze and, luckily, the oranges had ripened enough  to enjoy. Tuesday’s night low turned out to be 25 degrees below the normal average for the night(51 the normal average low for the day)…and our chilly 25 degree temperature reading lasted for hours….The following night left the bird bath frozen until 9:30 AM…!

This morning was much warmer–the grands slept over and we picked some more!

the best of times...as in a sleep over with four grands and then a massive orange pickin' in the AM.

The best of times follows a few days later…as in a sleep over with four grands and then another  massive orange pickin’ in the AM.

And oh….

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that other countries beside the  Czech Republic have taken the art of weather casting to a whole different level, too.

See? I can't make out Mondays weather in Moscow..what to wear?...crazy huh?

See? I can’t make out Monday’s weather in Moscow..butt that it will be cheeky! What to wear, or not?..That is the question!

Cheers,,, and stay warm-and eat plenty of  vitamin C !

Franque23

*http://cheekytraveller.com/?p=43

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

Thanks for stopping by! I noticed our pineapples have really spread out this past week…asked my wife to take a few shots I thought I’d share with Y’All!  Nothing like a prefect day to lift spirits and spread a sense of inner peace….

This is our largest pineapple plant-about four foot high, and five feet across

This is our largest pineapple plant-about three feet high, and five feet across(In my hand is one of this year’s first oranges…)

Shadow, our puppy, and I photo bomb this pineapple shot!

Shadow, our puppy, and I photo bomb this pineapple shot!

Severe Blue skies today- stores, schools and businesses should close for this most spectacular day!

Severe Blue skies today- stores, schools and businesses should close for this most spectacular day!

Our Fall garden is coming along-it's always a race to beat the first cold snap of the year.....

Our Fall garden is coming along-it’s always a race to beat the first cold snap of the year…..

I love to walk out into the garden every morning-especially when it begins to yield.

I love to walk out into the garden every morning-especially when it begins to yield.

This post’s random shot is of a  Chihuly  sculpture located within a huge Cactus garden in Phoenix, AZ.*

Phoenix-

Phoenix-

These glass sculptures light at night for a crazy good show....

These glass sculptures light at night for a crazy good show….

I planted this top form a psring picked pineapple, and it's doing much better than the tops I cut off store bought pineapples..

I planted this top from a spring picked pineapple, and it’s doing much better than the tops I cut off store-bought pineapples..

I’ve two books out on Kindle: please forward this post and/or the book links to friends and family if possible. I’m always looking for readers and, hopefully, reviews. Cheers! Franque23

Book one is a fun read- guaranteed to make you laugh out loud at times.

Book one is a fun coming of age read- guaranteed to make you laugh out loud at times.

Book one link:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0NYO80/

Book two develops the characters, defines their motives and worth, and moves the plot onward to Book three-the final book is now in editing.

Book two develops the characters, defines their motives and worth, and moves the plot onward to Book Three-Survival- the final book is now in editing.

Book Two link:   http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KXMIIOK

Here’s to more blue skies, and pineapples aplenty!

*For more info on Chihuly :

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

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