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(I received this letter my sister, Sharon Franquemont, had written to a cousin….as it is, our extended family is about 50/50 Democrat or Republican, though some would be libertarian/green party etc. It got me thinking that, as it should be, we are all together, living through trying times. Internal and external forces are always at work in every society and it remains of utmost importance that here, as Americans, and elsewhere that we keep our dialogues going, open, accepting and informative.)

Thanks, sis, for the read.

“A couple of weeks ago a work colleague who voted for and admires Trump and I had a debate about voter fraud.  What we soon discovered is that we both have completely different streams of news and facts. It was illuminating.

I wondered if our exchange was rooted in Russian generated disinformation campaign with the goal to create division and chaos in our country. Or was this stark reality difference guided by something more internal in USA?

BTW, I think chaos, confusion and undercutting of our Democracy was already in the Russian playbook,  regardless of who won the election. if Hillary had won, we’d be hearing about her email fraud, her corrupt murders and bribery, so I don’t think this is a Trump issue. He is far worse than I expected and I expected pretty someone horrible—never believed he was a wise businessman capable of making ‘deals’ that would lead us through to the other side.

And, I never forget that many of my Republican friends were equally horrified by Obama’s Presidency.

As to Climate Change, in 1993 I met my beloved friend and soul brother, David Berry. We worked collaboratively on the volunteer Prayer Vigil for the Earth in DC for 20 years.

At the time I met David, he was working for the Department of Interior and was interested in interdepartmental sharing of environment data  He formed an after hours working group across many of the departments and they began sharing data. This after hours working group eventually lead him to an assignment in the White House working directly for Katy McGinty’s Council on Environmental Quality.  He later became known internationally and is now an honored elder member of the Balaton Group, an elite global sustainable group, and also chair of the USA Roundtable on Water.

Somewhere around 1999 he started very privately telling me and others that statistically there was no turning back. Humanity was over the edge and the Earth would become increasingly hot, seas would rise, and environmental degradation was already on the way.  I worked through a lot of horrible thoughts and feelings about this, but landed on this may or may not happen.  Thus far, it looks like it is happening.

Beyond David, Maurice Strong, the ‘father’ of global sustainability in that he convened the first UN global conversation on the issue in 1972, the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and 1995 follow-up, and his wife Hanne Strong have been friends since 1995.  Although Maurice died a few years back, I’ve followed via them the perilous path of bringing these issues forward.

I have zero interest in debating Climate Change’s reality with anyone. Ultimately, time will reveal the truth.  Will I stand for Climate Change work? Absolutely.  Do I think, given the state of everything now, Climate Crisis is on the horizon? Yes, I do and not sure what we can do about it, but acknowledge its high probability. Humans have amazing ingenuity and adaptability, so I remain more hopeful than many, yet preparing honestly for different future topography and weather patterns seems like a good idea.

But the issue with you is far broader than Climate Change. I have zero trust in the sources you’ve been quoting and advocating since we began our conversation. And, it even goes deeper than that. Our 2016 conversation on the dock reached for me a critical point when realized how very different our values are. From that perspective, I wasn’t sure how useful our exchange could be for either of us, so was glad when we switched to saying that the systems were suspect.

You and I have been close for many decades and, perhaps lifetimes, if one believes in those things.  May I request that you stop lobbying me from Breitbart or similar news sources.  No, I don’t believe in Bannon’s philosophy or predictions for coming world wars, unless of course, he and the administration are instrumental in creating them.

I cannot fathom your and others continual support for Trump and his administration.  God help us.  I mean that literally.

With abiding affection from a different world and world view,”

Americans hold many world views and freedom of speech is a building block of our society. I have to say, it does bother me how those who oppose the views held by the Alt-right or Neo- Nazi ideologies are often referred to as Leftists in many columns. Thing is, while some who oppose the KKK and Alt-right may be leftists, the basic truth is many claims made by the alt-right, KKK, or Nazi sympathizers are not within the fundamental frame-work of ideas most thought to be American. Many who oppose the radical right marches are simply, Americans.

Simply, American.

Peace-

Franque23(Thanks for the writing, sis.)


(Click on the pic to get the drift)

Florida has its moods. Hot; yes. Hurricanes; of course. The rains come as do two tropical isle paradise weather months per year. It’s all here: a big sky, deep forests*, flying, grunting, clawing, watching wild life. Florida.

Another storm had passed and the ocean hadn’t failed to notice. Visiting our Barefoot Bay home north of Vero brought our two grand children and us to the shore once more. My Catahoula Leopard insisted.

Our place has the luxury of making us a member of a lock and key access to part of the Atlantic shore. It’s quite a perk. We headed out, though the weather wasn’t even good for ducks

 

.

The shore line as we knew it had a distinctive different look. The crashing waves after a storm had displace thousands of tons of sand, ripping the beach in half, and by no small margin.

What to do with a six-foot drop off a sandy cliff?Let the games begin!

 Everyone got excited. The jumping-fantastic. The sliding-perfect. The water-scary!Dale and I choose the high road; the kids, not so much.

Let’s hope the kids don’t follow Shadow.That was a funny thought to have for about a minute.Okay, thirty seconds.

Who can resist climbing cliffs on a beach?

 And we were the only people in sight. This is often the case, even on a great day.

This was a great day earlier that same year.

For me, there’s nothing like the beach. I love to body surf, catch a ride and tumble in the surf. Of course, nothing stays forever, and this year we find that sometimes as many as ten people can be seen on our beach-the crowds.

This day was super fun. Don’t miss the beauties of the Vero Beach to Cocoa Beach coast of Florida, and here in Northern Florida we have treasures as well-the springs are amazing.

See ya. We had to go home and eat ice cream.

Cheers….

Franque23

  • The Ocala National Forest is the Nation’s second largest  National forest.

Sometimes Lake Bonaparte’s morning mist calls you to do something else.

It’s time to head out with the fresh Adirondack air blazing our bodies with energy.

There’s a falling stream not too far off-

I don’t recall the name of this park, but a sign hangs for it just east of Harrisville, New York,  off of Rt 3. A right turn leads you down a small road that seems much longer than the mileage advertised by the signs….Yes, this park has a name but I don’t recall it and can’t find it on google, but trust me. If you drive east on RT 3 past Harrisville, farther than you think you should, you’ll come to the sign-and then to this blast of a rock climbing place.( reader Jacqueline writes the name of this park is Greenwood state park)

If you leave THE LAKE early it’s easy to make the place for a lunch time snack; there are tables, a few cookout pits and ,yes, real bathrooms. Keep driving until you see a few parking spots on the left.(you’ll come to a house first and think you’re there-you aren’t..keep going.)

Children can make the climb(s) but it’s rugged enough to give adults a sense of accomplishment and wonder.

We spent about four hours here exploring, calling, side-stepping crevasses and fallen logs. The water rushes by in most places or neatly pools for your tired feet in others.

You can slip away from the stream and meander through some beautiful woods.

The way back down brings you to a widened area of babbling brook and smooth stone.

It’s the kind of place that makes a person want to crow with raised arms.

Oh yes, we did it!

A joyful morning/afternoon lunch and it’s time to say goodbye.

We’ll be back.

Lake Bonaparte and the Adirondack region never ceases to amaze.

Back at out camp well in time for a 4 PM dock-time swim….

Well in time for sun-down

And a night-time fire…

Peace-Enjoy exploring!

Franque23

 


(Pics enlarge with a click….)

I’m not going to saw on and on about the $3200.00 dollars’ worth of dead pine we had to cut down at our home in Gainesville, Florida the very day we left to vaca at Lake Bonaparte-that would muck up everything.  Nope, why think about money flying out of my wallet when it’s time to vacation up at Bonaparte?

Every trip up to Lake Bonaparte starts this way; there’s a long car trip to plan or plane tickets to buy and a car to rent as well. The 1900 hundred mile trip to Bonaparte takes time and money no matter how you go. This year’s journey was no different.

The vision was planted in my brain, and no amount of fishing tackle on sale could stop me.

The plane ride up landed me in Syracuse New York a quick five hours after my 5:30 AM departure time from Gainesville, Florida. That airport isn’t the cheapest ticket, about $450.00, but it’s by far the most convenient one for me to use. Syracuse landings always require a car rental and I chose to hook up with an off airport site to save money ( Whaaahahhaa-as if: still over 400 bucks). Roughly, this whole-I can’t believe I got up at 4 AM- procedure lands me up in Watertown around 2 PM when I get into Dicks(the store mind you; I can’t believe you thought that!) where I buy my fishing license. Thing is, try as I might, the lures for sale always snag my wallet and won’t give it back until my spending makes it considerably lighter to carry. Worse, a nearby Gander Mountain store had a going out of business sale which meant I was going out of mind buying stuff. A three-year supply of hooks, all sizes, sinkers, leaders, fishing line, reels, boat whistles, flares, twenty-five pounds of worm scent, too many bags of plastic worms of all colors, shapes and sizes, did I mention hooks, and I left the store with $298.00 less to my name. Whew…..

The trip tally, plane, car and Gander Mountain just rang up to $1150.00 and change-er, so far.

Thing is, even a fisher man thinks he might have to eat once in a while. That’s where $57.00 dollars at the dollar tree condiments, etc., and another $300.00 of food from Price Choppers came in. Bingo, if I add in the fishing license, gas for boats, oh yes, the boats-that storage and prep fee rang a gentle $900.00 or more for the year along with dock delivery—-

Hmmmm, did my trip just clear 2 grand and I’m not even up at the lake yet?

No worries!!! Home sweet home up at the Bonaparte Lake camp still hasn’t cost what one day of cutting trees tallied back at our southern home! What’s not to like? Well, maybe the weather could be a problem. The forecast has it raining every day during my 11 day stay, but weather men don’t know you can fish between the rain drops and risk your life if you’re a fisherman/woman.

My first night up at the camp always finds me diving in the freezing water (to see if I’ll survive) and then taking out fishing tackle and gearing it up for the next day. Right on deck I had over seven strung poles for my kids to use and my other six open face reels of mine lined up. A quick inventory of my surplus stock reeled in eight unopened new reels; ten other opened but new unused reels, many more  hardly used reels and rod combos, twenty packs of plastic worms, over thirty-three lures(not counting most of them), along with one hundred pounds of lights, hooks- stuff.

Nana tried to explain the rules: no diving in after fish, lost lures or rods and reels.Plus hooks hurt….

We were about set to fish. Why a frog -type thingy on the head was in order is still a mystery.

Tension mounted that first night. Were forty-one reels and rods enough for an 11 day stay?

Thing is, there would be at least three of us fishing so you had to divided the 75 poles and reels by three to truly understand the balance.

Worry clouded my mind. What if one reel should break? I’d be left with only 79 rods and reels for the next ten days-horrors. Doubt, apprehension, beers, all clouded my head. What to do? Shop more? Risk a mere eighty-five plus over carriage of rods and reels?!?!? Decisions had to be made. While watching the fire flames lick the stacked hard woods in the fire-place, the question quickly became: what was the question?

We raced out between the white caps and caught our limit of endurance; blue gills and perch were on the line. We still had about ninety rods and reels left.

But that first night,  now so long ago, I’d searched high and low among line, lures, reels and my hope to find the answer to the question I was looking for. Tellin’ ya, by midnight the questions were gone; work was gone; worry was gone as I relaxed before a northern fireplace at Lake Bonaparte. Then, in a flash of brilliance-sorta- I realized what my question was. Here’s the deal,  I had some doubts after swimming that evening…

Had the winter ice on the lake really gone out?

My always optimistic 8-year-old grandson, Isaiah, would answer that question nine days later.

We’d been swimming in and out of rain for nine days, sometimes four times per day, when Isaiah mentioned as we toweled off on the dock, “Bapa? This really isn’t as bad as swimming in ice cubes.”

That was the good news.

There’s a pride in this. We had worked; we had won. We’d gone out and had fun. Me? I’m so glad the perch are back. It turns out 150 rod and reel combos was enough after all!

 

I’d put our perch catch in a bucket of water on the dock to await cleaning when a brown mother duck who we’d been giving bread came up on the dock and stood by the bucket. “No!” I said, firmly. “I’m not giving you our fish! Period, end of story!” I did, however, release the two smallest of our eleven off at our dock…..Pals for life!

Cheers…I loved every second.  Lake Bonaparte can make a second last forever. What’s not to love?

Franque23


Trouble is, the resistance and supporters of the Paris Accord didn’t define the terms of this debate. No, once again out worked and out maneuvered, sympathizers for the World’s climate were tangled and shackled into a debate about Climate Change.

We didn’t ask the right question.*

—this isn’t about whether or not climate change is real-or, it shouldn’t be—the issue surrounding the Paris Accord is do we want to limit toxic emissions or not, period.

Flowers or coal; smelling burning coal or flowers?**

The question is: how can limiting toxic emissions hurt? Some huge companies say limiting their emissions will not hurt their business or profit line. This should’ve been the arena for the debate about whether or not the U.S. should pull out of the Paris Accord…not a discussion about climate change.

We have to better chose what fish to fry.***

Trump has disgraced us all… I ask you, even if our emissions has nothing to do with climate change, even if Climate change isn’t real, how can it hurt to decrease our toxic emissions for our generation and for those that will follow?

I’ve and idea! How about asking the right question?

How can it hurt to reduce our toxic emissions? Big Business say’s it won’t hurt them, so what’s the deal?

Again,this issue isn’t about climate change, whether it’s real or not, it’s about wanting to reduce our toxic emissions. The debate about whether climate change is real or not is just a distraction from the World’s need to reduce our carbon footprint to help our environment, to clean up our air and water.

But, see, even today, the reports are aghast that Trump’s decisions will have a drastic effect on Climate change. Forget that; Climate change is too large of an unknown regardless of the scientific community’s nearly 100 % AGREEMENT ON THE ISSUE. No, Trump’s decision means this: we all will be breathing air and drinking water that is less pure than it could be.

Who wants to vote for polluted air and water? That arena of questions was winnable, but that stage was never set. Why?

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

Robert Reich said it best:

“A short message to the rest of the world:
We apologize. We understand our responsibilities as human beings who share this planet with you. This is temporary. Donald Trump doesn’t reflect the views of most Americans. Most of us didn’t even vote for him. We are doing everything we possibly can to remove him from office as soon as legally possible. And when we do, America will once again be a responsible nation.”

Can’t wait. It’s sorta like having to wait for Christmas.

There’s a red line we don’t want to cross when it comes to Climate change, but many don’t believe this is true. So how’s about’s we just talk turkey-do we want what we might eat to be fed clean food and pure water or not?*****

Cheers

Like this crap falls on the ground, the trees, on our gardens and on us!

Duck and cover, but take time to smell the flowers.

Such beautiful life comes forth from our Mother Earth.

It’s about every crop….%

what we eat-that’s part of what the Paris Accord is really about…

and it’s about life as we know it.

Franque23

Where did the real discussion about the Pairs Accord go?^

  • My daughter sitting on top of a Himalayan peak.
  • our front yard
  • Dad and me fishin’
  • our pineapples
  • Lake Bonaparte
  • Family
  • Me at the lake… bye

 

Here’s some interesting tidbits on PBS…. The Chronicle of Philanthropy  did a study in 1994  that found PBS ranked 11th among 100 of the most popular and credible charity or non-profits in the US. More,  38.2% of Americans over the age of 12 choose “love” and “like a lot” when given a chance to rate PBS.

More……when PBS.org went on line by 2013 its traffic had risen from a starting audience of 2 million to a quarter-billion! That surpassed CBS, ABC and NBC web sites!

PBS has won more Webby awards than any other media company in the WORLD!

Trump asks in his budget to cancel government funding for PBS? Why? It’s recently circulated that when Winston Churchill was asked by Parliament to cut funding from the arts during World War ll he replied, “Then what are we fighting for?” Thing is, Snopes rates this  quote as fake news, but the point remains well taken. Who wants a society void of the Arts, the Humanities, social welfare security and accessible education and  health care?

It’s important to understand that PBS is not solely run by government funding, but has a huge donation based backing from working Americans, businesses and from corporations world-wide. Added to this, our government is meant to help provide American’s services we want, like PBS and the postal system to name two.

Our government is not a business based enterprise charged with making money off the backs of our citizen’s preferences. No, like the U.S, postal system that was never meant to make money but to cost money while providing American’s with mail service, PBS is a non-profit that provides many American’s with a well deserved service.

America is all for one and one for all. Thereby, if so many citizens enjoy the services rendered via PBS then it is reasonable that some monies from the government’s tax collection be used to keep the service up and running.

I say to our government-relax, fund PBS and thank God Social Security checks can still come in the U.S. Mail!

One more little point…..I’ve long heard the notion that PBS is a liberal based broadcast-nothing could be further from the truth. Show’s that talk about global warming are not points but discussions, many  try to be factually based though opinionated. Here’s the deal—if the right did think global warming was true and the Left didn’t, PBS would still run those programs. Get it?

Just because PBS may run programs you find offensive, too liberal for your liking, or just plain wrong doesn’t make the station liberal based. No, most times PBS shows are informative with regard to the facts as stated by science, whether those facts be right or wrong.

The bottom line on PBS: If Democrats everywhere started pooping in the streets, PBS would air shows about it and may even present ideas based on facts about how unhealthy this habit was for America—no matter how much stink they got from some segments of our society because pooping on streets may be healthy for our run-off ground water and good for the economy.

PBS doesn’t lean left or right, but merely presents points of interest in ways that are most often educational, and American’s love their PBS stations….

Them’s the facts. There are no alternative facts about it. None, zip-zero, nada, no how, anything left to say than Trumps’ call to defund one of America’s most popular TV shows is a wrong way turn on a dead-end street.*

Click-off for now.

Franque23.

*2017-President Trump’s budget slashes support for funding of NPR, PBS and public radio stations …

 

 


Linda sang her song from day one, that’s the way she is. Linda can whisk tough times away with a slant of her smile that makes the Sun wear shades. Young, strong, beaming, this is how I remember meeting Linda who tantalized my young mind with dancing spirit.

Linda’s path has always been the high road.

I was lucky to see Linda recently(pictured middle)

I was lucky to see Linda recently(pictured middle)

Linda cares for her mom. Aunt Perla May Tarvin will be 100 this March 13th

Linda cares for her mom. Aunt Perla May Tarvin will be 100 this March 13th*

Strong, lean and mean, you get the picture. Holding a certain stature that stretches to the sky, this is how I came to know Linda. Lucky to be out of diapers—if I was—this whizzing top of a cousin first zoomed by. Trust was never an issue, nor place, moment, task or game at hand. Where do cousin’s come from; it all calls for wonder. Linda’s ease of being slipped that question into my childhood dreams.

Every life will own its challenges. Peaks, valley’s, ups, downs and spin-a-rounds, the first person to build a roller coaster was onto something. Still, the carol Linda brings with her contains a floating timbre that underscores any discord. If her life were a musical piece it would play allegretto, accentato, affettoa— light, lively, with emotion and emphasis—but always, throughout, the work would be in harmony.

But why do I tell you? It’s a simple matter, a solid truth, one I have known for so long. Linda’s true affection for my childhood self and everything else about her gave me a confidence that helped grow my spirit. Of course, I had mom, dad, the steady lead of my sister and strong hand of my brother to help me build my path. But, I had cousin, Linda, as well.  And, as dismantling as it must be for a child to not receive the love they deserve from their immediate family, it is equally uplifting to receive that same kind of love from a stranger, an associate, or from a cousin. I know.

Acceptance, hope, cheer and love, these are Linda’s calling cards; the notations of her life.

Sometimes, I hold the ceramic butter dish, a uniquely designed item, or the cut out clay plates I know Linda’s hands made. She did that for years, selling her pottery wares in craft shows and fairs. This was a perfect fit; Linda’s love of people, of creation, for the gift of giving and sharing her four calling cards bloomed everyday. In return, Linda still brings the warmth of her carol to any who listen.

She is a horse person. This means she gives tireless energy to four-footed pals who only speak back when a heart listens. Linda hears with her heart.

I can’t imagine someone as truly nice as my cousin, Linda, and I know her! Fathom that?!?!?

Now, there’s bad news.

“Hospice is here.”

Larry’s message marked the screen. It’s been years of struggle for Linda and Larry; years of prayers, hope. Even so, these have been happy years filled with promise—Larry will tell you.

Still.

Sometime, it seems, I may have to go on without Linda, this, a thought I’ve never embraced. Of course, we don’t know; our future that feels so ever present is truly veiled. But if that day comes, if I ever have to face it, I will never be alone. I’ll carry Linda’s laugh, cheer and all of her calling cards with me as I go. Linda will be in my vision as I look to the sky. The birds will sing, the wind will whistle the trees, but most of all there will be Linda Carol Martin’s song of Life in my head.

Linda’s carol will ring my ears. That tune, she taught my heart so well.

Thank You, Linda Carol.

Franque23

*

Aunt Perla May is the last survivor of her generation of Johnsons.

Aunt Perla May(1st in row) is the last survivor of her generation of Johnsons.

I love my Aunt Perla May and my cousin Linda. Today, this Valentine's day, we heard that each may ass within a week's time-maybe even on the same day.

I love my Aunt Perla May and my cousin Linda Carol. Today, this Valentine’s day, we heard that each may pass within a week’s time-maybe even on the same day. They have been a blessing to so many.


Trump effectively won the election by convincing Americans that our country had become the worst thing since rotten apples. Thing is, if today’s successful women’s march on Washington doesn’t end up creating change it will most likely be due to one reason: people are basically too comfortable living to keep up the hard work it will take to force change.

See? It’s a time of weird dynamics, an ill-shaped trapezoid of varying dichotomies festers within American society-inside the heads of American voters. Collectively we drop 90 million at the box office and complain about the price of bread after enjoying the show.

Trump recognized the beast that is our society, grabbed the reins and is now gonna lead us to where ever the hell we are going.  Trump is no moderate. He may be insane, some have claimed it, but he’s no dummy. There have been lunatics in world history, leaders, who didn’t digest power well. How will Trump do? I imagine the plethora of American power upon Trump’s plate. The congress are his servers; Americans his workers. Who will he tip, retain or shaft?

It seems ‘wine-and-dine’ is key when it comes to surviving Trump’s moods.

Those who donated generously to Trump’s campaign efforts are being rewarded with high paying prestigious appointments. The government contracts and financial awards to come may mostly go unnoticed as they pass beneath the table, but they will happen as well.  Mexico will never pay for any part of an American built wall but a relative of a relative or business partner of Trump’s will make out like a bandit building it. They will deposit our tax dollars.border As it stands now, people play volleyball over the Mexican/US boarder fence.

Trump rose to power by raking the imagination of less fortunate  workers with mind twisting lingo, ‘I could shoot someone and my followers would still love me,’ and by opening their closets so full of demons, hate, prejudice, notions of white power and abusive attitudes toward women and minorities in general.  NAFTA, a notion first brought to America’s attention by Ronald Reagan in a televised speech so long ago, has helped fuel the downturn plight of American workers-this and other business dealings have withered the spirits of American workers and enabled them to be set aflame by the biting rhetoric of Trump, the likes of which America has never heard before, not in its entirety, not as such a wide sweeping rout of long-held American ideals. (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”)

For now, the die is cast for America. The color seems white; the room divvied up by what is hated most. Trump’s call for American loyalty may be a battle cry of a contest that will be held among ourselves.

We just don’t know about Trump’s Presidency, yet. His appointments look bad to anyone who isn’t rich or making a buck digging the earth. Still, Trump has that amazing opportunity to turn on a dime and send America into an economic boom by pushing huge solar power contracts and building the infrastructure needed to make this power source feasible. America certainly needs work done on its roads, bridges and dams; there are huge employment opportunities waiting. Will he punch those buttons, or keep asking his cronies in congress to bring him more wine?

Trump the multi-millionaire appoints other millionaires to run his administration. I wonder how the cowboy who rides in a saddle that needs replacing feels about that? A lot of underemployed or non-working Americans put Trump in office. In turn, you me and every other hard-working American can rest assured that Trump will be making billions for his businesses while in office.

As a protest, the Right, Alt-Right and others have elected the same old, same old. Many of those who voted for Trump are seeing this now. Great. NOT! I suspect many will have to put-off buying new tires for their truck this year or, maybe, for four years. Five hundred thousand American marchers went to Washington D.C. today because they see a possible train wreck that is Donald Trump coming. People marched today all over the world for Humanitarian rights. But are these marchers merely waving signs and flags in front of a charging bull? Time will tell.*

In NYC.

In NYC.

womens_march_london In London

womensmarch Dublin

Australia, Antarctica, France all around the globe…Here’s a link to see them.https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/01/21/womens-march-protests-are-unfolding-in-different-countries-arou/21659913/#slide=4359560#fullscreen

Franque23

  • some numbers in today’s women’s day marches
  • Washington DC 500,000
    LA 500,000 +
    NYC 300,000 +
    Chicago 250,000
    Denver 200,000
    Seattle 150,000
    Boston 125,000
    Madison Wi 100,000
    Portland 100,000
    Minneapolis75,000
    Atlanta 60,000
    Austin 50,000
    Philadelphia 50,000
    Raleigh 18,000
    Des Moines 26,000
    Pittsburgh 25,000
    San Diego 22,000
    Nashville 20,000
    Santa Ana 20,000
    St Petersburg 17,000
    Cleveland 15,000
    Oklahoma City 12,000 +
    Kansas City,MO 10,000
    Charlotte 10,000
    Ithaca 10,000
    Greensboro 8,000
    Montpelier VT 8,000 + (pop 10,000 many I 89 exits shut down)
    Asheville 10,000
    Albuquerque 10,000
    Tallahassee 10,000+
    West Palm Beach 7,000
    Orlando 6,000
    Tucson 5,000
    Trenton 5,000
    Athens Ga 4500
    Doylestown, PA 2,000.
    Hillsborough (my town!) 2000
    Harrisburg PA 1,100
    Jonesborough TN 1000+
    Saskatoon 800-1000 (pop 260k)
    Palmer AK 800
    Murray KY 700
    Black Mt NC 400
    Morganton NC 500
    Houghton / Hancock Michigan: 300+
    and on and on and on.and the whole world. wow.

When you can eat it all now? But wait! The Weight! The weight gain, that is. Yes, the holidays are a smorgasbord of food for pounds.

It is Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks to all the hard work that went into bringing the birds to so many tables in America.article-2236949-162a7f74000005dc-370_634x560

(this is Norma Jeane Mortenson doing the hard work–later known as Marillyn Monroe.)

Thanks to all you hunters and farmers.

turkey-leg

I’d hardly put down the last remaining Thanksgiving Turkey drum stick when the Christmas’ lamb (who may eat ivy-not sure) mairzy doats into my mouth.*  A person’s body can only take so much stuffing, and I was about to find out exactly how much. About that stuffing-orange wedges, cinnamon apple slices and almond slivers helped.

A mosh of smashed candied yams smothered in marshmallow, steamed, salted asparagus, ripe olives, cranberry sauce, too many Hawaiian rolls way over come by how many pies(I forget- burp) -all the remains from Bird Day- had cleared out of my pie hole just enough to make room for the next feast. I think three types of ice cream, homemade orange jam and lemonade helped wash it all down.

I need a body image checkup

I need a body image checkup

This is when my scale started going screwy. “Nah, it can’t be!” To be fair, the cold does affect those floor step on scales, and our floor doesn’t appear to be exactly flat, as it was last week. “Do these things run on batteries?”

So the lamb dinner did a do-si-do  into my life. The gravy thick, chunked chock full of garlic, peppers, onion-eastern Mediterranean sea salt, parsley, rosemary, thyme, pepper, orange peel, paprika-more-clung to the herb crusted  meat. Mashers, creamy, so good ask my daughter how, a salad made of everything, fresh frozen garden green beans from last fall, the loaves of garlic bread and don’t forget the olives, applesauce and the green mint jelly or the carrots and sweet potatoes cooked alongside the lamb basted in the hot juice-it all decorated my plate. Two for one Edward’s pies was a no brainer-an all appetite type of thing-covered in mounds of ice cream seemed so logical.

Have you ever noticed there are more types of chocolates on your table than grains of sand on a beach during the Holiday of Light?

Though, I may have never seen this....

Though, I  have never seen this….

 

chocolate everywhere

of chocolate everywhere-

people do stuff with chocoalte

people do stuff with chocolate

Light, Dark, 30% to 90% cocoa, round, square, kisses, triangular shapes next to chocolate Santa’s, reindeer, orange chocolate balls, I love the coconut filled mounds, and the foreign jobs-those real creamy chocolates, Ferrero’s, more. Not that I ate any of these, but all of them.

Chocolate does stuff to people (The evil dark chocolate colored scale.)

Chocolate does stuff to people (The evil dark chocolate colored scale.)**

You’d think my scale would self correct like computers reset if you unplug them,,,,but not mine. “Stupid thing has me five pounds too heavy!”

Because I could still roll over and get out of bed, still stand and open my mouth, the New Year’s Eve dinner celebration jollied its way  through my palate next.

New Year’s dinners only come once per year, and why-oh-why so soon after Thanksgiving and Christmas meals?!?!?!See? Someone got this all wrong-we need to spread these meals out a bit more throughout the year.

A rare Roast Beef is a pure joy-and Vegan’s hell, I know, but this is all part of the Yin-Yang of life. A thinner gravy is called for, and this time the sweet potatoes needed chopped up Nestle crunch bars mixed into the marshmallow topping…Vegetables? I’m sure there were some, but those, the cakes, pies, breads and drinks all mix together in my jumbled head.

The Holiday so long to come and too soon over; the loved ones gone and some so far away.

some so far away

some so far away

The laughter, cheers, smiles, hugs and hopes we shared rattle my skull. My brain chases the images as if they were shadows in the night in hopes of experiencing them once more. But the shorter days are growing longer. Time has a way of saying goodbye and hello all at once.

4 grandsons pickin green beans before they eat chocolate

4 grandsons pickin’ green beans before they eat chocolate

Funny thing-even with the new coming light of day, my scale is still completely out to lunch.?!?! “This scale is 7 pounds off if not a slim ounce more!”

I weigh my alternatives and realize some things need replacing this New Year. Thank goodness I’d lost 14 pounds over the course of last year!  Thing is, I found a few of them back, and I know just how and where.

More is less-my new year resolution.

Cheers and Beers

Franque23

  • I always enjoyed that Mares eat oats… thingy song.
  • ** other ideas for chocolate.

    weigh only your feet

    weigh only your feet

or…keep clean with chocolate

maybe

maybe


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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