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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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There’s a morning wind.

Today, from where I sit, the breeze will reach the sea some sixty miles off as it blows east. There, the translucent waves of green and blue roll beneath the calling gulls as the cooling, wet shore line comforts the feet of those strolling by. The shell white sand of the beach waits to be renewed or reclaimed by the pounding surf, and beyond it rises beige, wispy sea oats and dark green sea grapes that root in the dunes. A transforming landscape of sand and grass rises and falls to form a panorama that seems a dried mirror image of the ocean’s undulating surface. The oats will sway in the breeze much like sea weed moves with the ocean current. Here, two realms so different remain joined as one. The wind will touch it all.

It’s a peaceful thought as my coffee scents the air.

There was a time I thought I’d end up living along the shore, in the wind, with the sun, with the sounds and smells of the sea. Mom did as a child in, Recife’, Brazil, and somehow I dreamed I’d be as lucky. She took me to the shore often and taught me the ways of the sea, the surf, the hot sand and how the tiniest shell could sometimes be the most spectacular of the lot found that day. There were those sand crabs to dig after as they burrowed only to be caught so they might wiggle in my palm. We went to the ocean as a family and soon that vast, blue lined horizon became as much a part of ours as dad’s backyard apple blossoms.

Mom by the sea.

Sometimes I wonder if our dreams die like we do, or if they exist forever.

I’ve a good cup of coffee, but the memories are so much better. The wind entices me to wonder. When did I give up on that dream to live by the sea? I should have written the date somewhere.

But, I think I came to Florida in 1971 , in part, to be by the sea.

My wife and I have always visited the sea—our hearts beat with the waves, the light, the clouds and all those rolling, crashing waves.

A unique understanding comes when a person interacts with something as large as a mountain range, a desert, an expansive ocean or anything so vast as the diamond night sky. There’s a sense of oneness with the pebble, sand or shell at your feet, or single star overhead——they are so much like the size of us when compared to the entirety of life.

Ask a mountain climber, a diver or those who love to walk the desert why they do what they do. They will think, ‘Because I do’, and then they will offer words about this or that, words that can never fully explain the gut of the matter. Perhaps, the best way to answer is to say, “The majestic helps clear the clutter.”

Lake Bonaparte has a beauty each day, though different from one day to the next.  The views allow the heart to rest.

We all need to clear the clutter in our heads—the majestic world is our best reflection, our best chance to right the wrongs in our thinking. Our environment is us; say hello.

We need to make peace with ourselves.

Do you remember being ten and testing out a new pair of sneakers? How fast you ran; how you seemed to fly: you’d never be undone!

I’m the 8ish year old with his hand on his hip….and black speed-o

Growing up is fascinating and maybe we never stop owning that same self amazement throughout our lives. Maybe, internally, we all hunger for the truth, a correction in our way of thinking that sets us in place, a certain notion that helps identity our true sense of being in the universe.

My sister and I still meet at the ocean whenever we can…this is Roatan.

Maybe, this understanding is why we yearn to face the magnificent spectrum of life as it appears before us from place to place. It’s more than humbling; it’s being united.

Let’s get together. Let’s listen to the morning wind; it whispers the truth. Good morning.

Franque23.


(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’m gonna start wearing a mask during Girl Scout Cookie Season. It’s the only way; I can’t stop eating those things so a mask just might do it! Why not? Many wear masks during the pollen season and right now it’s raining cookies out there. Not just at supermarkets, Wal-greens, Wal-marts or on any corner where people walk, but those cookie sellers are in my dreams as well.

I can’t sleep unless I’ve money in my pocket, like at least enough dough to buy four boxes of girl scout cookies that might pop up in a dream or two.

The women and girls started this mess and they better not stop. I know, we have four seasons but really, Girl Scout Cookie Season (GSCS) is the most important one. Chocolate Valentine’s Day Season is huge and so is Marshmallow Bunny Hop Season during Easter. And who can over look Halloween’s Reign of Candy Season but Girl Scout Cookie Season!?!? Now that, THAT is the mother of them all.

I really don’t like those cookies, I just can’t stop eating them. It’s not the cookies’ fault, it’s my mouth’s fault. The good news is that I know there has got to be a limit on how many GSC’S one man can eat. The bad news?—I’m gonna hit that limit.

Worse, I can’t think when I hear Girl Scout Cookies chirping.

Oddly, and this is the truth, the scale doesn’t say I’m gaining weight eating these GSC’S because, well, I

 

haven’t been on one in a month.

See? It says I weigh zero.

. The answer to the question is not to ask. We all know that.

Plus, shh, why wake up the scale? Give the scale a rest. It’s quite a step up onto that scale, too; I don’t want strain anything.

Listen, I’m not obsessing over these cookies but I do wonder how they might taste fried, over easy for breakfast, or scrambled. Of course, the Girl Scout Cookie hash browns potential comes to mind.

Back to the cookies of, OH My Gosh!, do you see how many choices there are to buy!!! It used to be, back in my day,  the only  choice I saw was thin mints since my face remained buried in those boxes for two weeks. Now, I’ve matured. I look over the collection of great choices and pick, Thin Mints…Plus those coconuty chocolate thingys called, Samoas…See? I now eat twice as many kinds as I did as a kid.

I could’ve retired five years ago if it weren’t for these babies.

 

I do not, and never have, swear, multitasked and eaten two different kinds of Girl Scout Cookies at the same time, not that I remember. Sure, maybe one cookie got in my pie hole before I’d swallowed the first, but technically this isn’t eating two GSC’S at the exact same time. Even if one cookie is well wedge against the right cheek as another is smashed in to the left cheek, that’s not like eating them both at the same time. Clearly, the tongue creates a dividing safe zone for discriminating tastes.

This may be her third box…

Here’s to the cookies of our lives!  So easy to download, right?

In truth, I didn’t eat one cookie today—-you know how this ends right? Like, I’ve eaten five that I counted. Some don’t count, clearly, if I’m too rushed to chew but just mash the thing in order to swallow it, that’s like not a cookie; whole different deal there.

Cheers… dang, I’ve completely lost my mask.

franquecookie.

 

 


Heads up! Please copy and paste this to your friends and associates.

Mike Byerly* has written an informative letter alerting all those who live within Alachua County that regulations protecting our air and water quality are once again under attack. Developers are seeking to reduce Alachua County’s air and water standards.

The meting is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 5 PM. Obviously, a Tuesday meeting held at 5 PM in the county’s Administration building makes it difficult for those who work 9 to 6 or 8 to 5 PM to attend. I suggest those who wish to let their voices be heard or their presence seen at this meeting request an early leave from work on Jan. 23 so they might attend this 5 PM meeting.

One more thing–why not request that any further meetings that address any changes to our county’s air, water or land use be scheduled on weekend days or no earlier than 6:30 PM on week days so voters can attend?

Here’s Mike Bylery’s letter:

“If you have only enough time or motivation to attend one government meeting in 2018 in defense of our environment, make it Jan. 23rd, 5 PM, at the County Administration building. The stakes are high, and turnout could make the difference.

Alachua County is a “charter county.” That means we have a charter, sort of like a constitution, that is the ultimate law on certain matters, and it can only be changed by popular vote. Back in 2000, Alachua County voters overwhelming approved an amendment to its charter that authorized the County to establish countywide minimum protections for water and air. Then, for 18 years, nothing happened. Finally, after several years of analysis and an exhaustive outreach campaign with stakeholder groups, the County is poised to adopt two important new water quality regulations that would substantially reduce the harmful impacts of future development. But this effort may die on the vine.

First up, and the subject of the January meeting, is simply a proposal to extend the County’s current wetland protections to the entire County. Currently, they only apply in the unincorporated County. The County’s standards are significantly stronger than the default state standards in use by most of the County’s municipalities, which allow developers to simply pay to destroy wetlands. Consequently, a number of large landholders have annexed into adjacent municipalities in recent years in an attempt to evade the County’s wetland protections. Plum Creek/Weyerhaeuser is the most glaring example, with large annexations into Hawthorne and to the north of Gainesville.

Second, later this spring, the County will consider whether to adopt new standards for future growth that would reduce the pollutants in storm water runoff that foul our streams, springs, and drinking water supplies. I’ll provide more information on this as the date for action approaches.

Characteristically, the meetings so far have been during the day and largely unpublicized, so the only feedback that County Commissioners and staff have received has been from paid representatives of the folks opposed to any new law: developers and the smaller municipalities. The County Commission needs to learn whether the public at large cares. Also characteristically, the threat is not so much that the County Commission will do nothing, but that they’ll accept so many “fine print” compromises that the final law is completely neutered, in ways that only the professionals can understand.

The time has come to translate talk into action. The Commission is divided on whether to act. Please attend, and bring a friend.”

Good job Mike Byerly! Now it’s up to the people of Alachua County to respond by showing up at this Jan 23rd meeting, 5 PM in the downtown Administration building…See you there!

Franque23
Gerald Franquemont.

*Who is Mike Byerly?
http://www.gainesville.com/opinion/20160729/mike-byerly-standing-up-for-sustainability


 

Mom takes a look....

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

It got me thinking…

Gainesville back in the day

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

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

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

 

Home sweet home-

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

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

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

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

Kelly and Hiro are still dancing!

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

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

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

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

32271_1446662118859_4151214_n Ross does a flip in the air.

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

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

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

Babies are legacies

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

It's a growing world

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

the generations before and after us are the point

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(Two public meetings have been scheduled by county staff to present their response to the revised Plum Creek plan:

  • February 16, 2016
  • February 18, 2016
Both meetings start at 5:00 pm and will be at Eastside High School. There will be presentations by county staff and representatives of Plum Creek. There will be time for public comment.)
The stand by your plan.org group is fighting to retain our rights…..

Ha! Alachua County Forever , my ass. Right now, elected officials may be about to approve a building development  that flies in  the face of the Alachua County Forever agenda! This plan is one made in hell and disregards the will of the people of Alachua County and the entire state of Florida! It comes to us under the guise of, Envision Alachua, a new improved plan brought up just three months after voters fully backed Alachua Forever Amendment 1 at the voting booths. Thing is, developers couldn’t find a way to work around the Alachua Forever amendment so they’ve invented this Envision Alachua and they’re calling it  a “Community backed” program. Whahhah…maybe it is backed by a community of thieves hell-bent on circumventing the people’s will, but that’s about it.  Just last Nov. the people voted on Amendment 1 and that amendment won by over a 75% majority-an amendment that, in part, supported the green passageway in Florida and our state’s wet lands.  It is a blue print of how We the People want growth and development in Florida to be structured  right now and in the future—forever.

The plum creek development proposed site lands right on top of Florida’s green passageway

Developers hopw to counter Amendment  1 with something called-Envision Florida....WTH?

Developers hope to counter Amendment 1 with something called-Envision Alachua….WTH?

 

Contact these Alachua County Commissioners now and ask them to stop Plum Creek-You’ll get the big picture if you read Commissioner, Mike Byerly’s comments on the link below-he’s got it right,,,Commissioner, Hutchinson is oh so wrong…

Profiles

 

And it even gets worse. The developer’s  requested to have waved  the required(by law prior to building) plans for road development and septic usage until AFTER the development is built! Why-oh-why does this all make me think of the Bio Mass plant scenario disaster our citizens of this county have had to endure ….oh, wait, I know why: it’s because this Plum Creek crap is the same sort of a load our elected officials pulled when the Bio plant was put into action.

Okay, why should we the citizens of Alachua County, Florida, and the entire US hate the Plum Creek building plans? Ha—amendment 1 just passed Nov 2015 by over 75%,,,an amendment put in place to stop just this sort of urban sprawl into our wet lands and intrusion of the green passageway for migrating animals from north to south Florida. In part, the protection of this passageway is what Alachua Forever is about. Now, within one year of the passages of amendment 1 back room deals and elected officials threaten to side step the will of the people by allowing this development…..Here’s a short list of those groups who supported amendment 1–and IF you or anyone you know is a member of any of these groups–please contact them and have them write Alachua county officials,,, and Cynthia Chestnut the current chair of he Democratic party for North Florida. The, no, THE list—-“Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign attributes much of its success to the invaluable service of its volunteers and generous contributions of donors. If you are interested in supporting the Water and Land Conservation amendment, please visit FloridaWaterLandLegacy.orgto learn more.

Endorsing organizations (in alphabetical order) include:

1000 Friends of Florida
Alachua Conservation Trust
Allen Broussard Conservancy
Alliance of Florida Land Trusts
American Planning Association – Florida Chapter
American Rivers Southeast Region
Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy
Animal Rights Foundation of Florida
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitor
Apalachee Land Conservancy
Apalachicola Riverkeeper
Archbold Biological Station
Around the Bend Nature Tours
Audubon Florida
Alachua Audubon Society
Apalachee Audubon Society
Bay County Audubon Society
Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
Citrus County Audubon Society
Clearwater Audubon Society
Collier County Audubon Society
Duval Audubon Society
Eagle Audubon Society
Audubon Society of the Everglades
Flagler Audubon Society
Four Rivers Audubon Society
Francis M. Weston Audubon Society
Halifax River Audubon Society
Hendry-Glades Audubon Society
Hernando Audubon Society
Highlands County Audubon Society
Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society
Lake Region Audubon Society
Manatee County Audubon Society
Marion County Audubon Society
Martin County Audubon Society
Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society
Orange Audubon Society
Peace River Audubon Society
Pelican Island Audubon Society
Ridge Audubon Society
Santa Fe Audubon Society
Sarasota Audubon Society
Seminole Audubon Society
South Florida Audubon Society
Southeast Volusia Audubon Society
Southwest Florida Audubon Society
Space Coast Audubon Society
St. Johns Audubon Society
St. Lucie Audubon Society
St. Petersburg Audubon Society
Tampa Audubon Society
Tropical Audubon Society
Venice Area Audubon Society
West Pasco Audubon Society
West Volusia Audubon Society
Barrier Island Parks Society
Bay County Conservancy
Blackwater Heritage State Trail Citizen Support Organization
Breckenridge Golf and Tennis Club
Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association (Riverwatch)
Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife
Carrabelle Cares and Waterfront Partnership
Citizens for an Engaged Electorate
Citrus County Council
City of Cedar Key
Clean Water Action
Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy
Collany Properties
Committee of the Islands on Sanibel
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
Conservation Trust for Florida
Defenders of Wildlife
Democratic Club of Coral Gables Area
Democratic Club of Lake County
Democratic Club of North Broward
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida – Southwest Florida Chapter
Democratic Women’s Club of Hardee County
Democratic Women’s Club of Highlands County
Democratic Women’s Club of Indian River County
Democratic Women’s Club of Florida
Earth Ethics
EarthJustice Florida
East Coast Greenway Alliance
Emerald Coastkeeper
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida (ECOSWF)
Environmental Conservation Organization
Environmental Education Council of Broward County, Florida
Estero Council of Community Leaders
Everglades Coalition
Everglades Foundation
First Florida Frontiers
Florida Clean Water Network
Florida Conservation Alliance
Florida Conservation Coalition
Florida Consumer Action Network
Florida Defenders of the Environment
Florida Disabled Outdoors Association
Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
Florida Keys Citizens Coalition
Florida Native Plant Society
Florida Native Plant Society – Citrus Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Coccoloba Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Cocoplum Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Conradina Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Coontie Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Cuplet Fern Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Dade Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Hernando Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Ixia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Lake Beautyberry Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Lakelas Mint Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Longleaf Pine Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Lyonia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Magnolia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Mangrove Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Marion Big Scrub Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Nature Coast Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Palm Beach Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – PawPaw Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Paynes Prairie Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Pinellas Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sarracenia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sea Oats Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Serenoa Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sparkleberry Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sumter Spiderwort Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Suncoast Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sweetbay Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Tarflower Chapter
Florida Ornithological Society
Florida Outdoor Recreation Coalition
Florida Paddling Trails Association
Florida Panther Society
Florida Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Florida Society of Ethical Ecotourism
Florida State University Environmental Services Program
Florida Trail Association
Florida Trail Association – Alligator Amblers Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Apalachee Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Big Cypress Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Central Florida Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Choctawhatchee Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Fisheating Creek Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Florida Cracker Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Halifax-St. Johns Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Happy Hoofers Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Heartland Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Indian River Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Loxahatchee Chapter
Florida Trail Association – North Florida Trail Blazers Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Panhandle Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Suncoast Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Tropical Trekkers Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Western Gate Chapter
Florida Wildlife Federation
Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy
Friends of Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Friends of Perdido Bay
Friends of Pinellas Master Naturalists
Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves
Friends of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Friends of St. Sebastian River
Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge
Friends of the Miccosukee Greenway
Friends of the Wacissa
Friends of the Wekiva River
Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park
Golden Gate Civic Association
Green Horizon Land Trust
Green Party of Florida
Gulf Coast Conservancy
Halifax Heritage Byway
Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute
IDEAS for US (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions)
Indian River Land Trust
Indian Riverkeeper
League of Conservation Voters
Lemon Bay Conservancy
Leon Soil and Water Conservation District
Lighthouse Bay at the Brooks
Millstone Institute for Preservation
National Wildlife Federation
Nehrling Gardens
North American Butterfly Association – Citrus County
North American Native Fishes Association
North Florida Land Trust
Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail
Paddle Florida
Pine Ridge Sanctuary/Pine Ridge Orchids
Progress Florida
Protect our Watersheds
Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida
Putnam County Environmental Council
Putnam Land Conservancy
Rails to Trails Conservancy
Rainbow River Conservation
Redlands Citizens Association
Reef Relief
River of Grass Greenway
Rookery Pointe Homeowners Association
Sanibel – Captiva Conservation Foundation
Save Our Suwannee
Save the Manatee Club
Science Eye
Shadow Wood Community Association
Shady Historic and Scenic Trails Association
Sierra Club Florida Chapter
Sierra Club – Ancient Islands Group
Sierra Club – Broward Group
Sierra Club – Calusa Group
Sierra Club – Greater Charlotte Harbor Group
Sierra Club – Loxahatchee Group
Sierra Club – Nassau County Group
Sierra Club – Northeast Group
Sierra Club – Suwannee-St. Johns
Sierra Club – Tampa Bay Group
Sierra Club – Turtle Coast Group
Silver River Keeper Foundation
Silver Springs Alliance
Snook Foundation
South Florida Wildlands Association
Southern Trailriders Association
Southwest Florida Watershed Council
Space Coast Progressive Alliance
Spring Run Golf Club
St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association
St. Johns River Alliance
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Students Advocating Sustainability at Stetson
Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light
Surfrider Foundation
Suwannee Bicycle Association
Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy
Tallahassee Citizens Climate Lobby
Tampa Bay Conservancy
The Conservation Fund
The Nature Conservancy
The Villagers
Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation
Treasured Lands Foundation
Trust for Public Land
UCF College Democrats Environmental Caucus
Urban Environment League of Greater Miami
Urban Paradise Guild
UWF Student Environmental Action Society
Wakulla Springs Alliance
Wellington Preservation Coalition
Wildlands Conservation
Wildlife Society – Florida Chapter
Wildwood Preservation Society
Women for Wise Growth
Women’s History Coalition”

So, if you live in one of the other 64 countries where this glob of a blog is read, please contact these commissioners and tell them you can smell how rotten of a idea this Plum Creek development is from where you live. If you are a citizen of the US , or live in Alachua county, Florida…call or write this board ASAP.

I thank you,,,and our grandchildren will, too.

Franque23


(click on the pics for much bigger, better views.)I did chronicle with photos most of my spring garden planting and that on going  growing season of 2015 before we lost the camera. Odd, someone actually came into our house while we weren’t looking and all they wanted was that stupid camera! Or, we misplaced the thing-hard to figure.( for folks who want to know how I plant my garden, the entire process is in this link: https://franque23.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/garden-shoveling-a-pictorial-anthology/ )

Anyway…what a year 2015 was-and to be clear, I do know today is February 8th, 2016. Thing is, living in Florida and growing food means I experience two different years: a calendar year along with everyone else, and a growing, living year. February is when the growing year really starts to turn over in Florida. This is the time the garden earth is turned and the soil is prepared for a new spring garden. I usually have my seeds planted no later than March 1st, and remain ready at all times to cover the new growth with mulch if it gets way cold in March as sometimes is the case. Why plant by March first? This gets most of my spring crops in by mid May, early June, just ahead of the major bug push in Florida.

Seems i hit the full moon just right and the seeds sprouted fast

Seems we hit the full moon just right and the seeds sprouted fast early March, 2015.

I’d collected bags of leaves from the roadsides as people left them out for the trash man to pick up.

This, picking up the neighbor's throw out leaves, is a good ,quick way to have mulch on hand--a bit of lime will help off-set the acidity of the oak leaves

This, picking up the neighbor’s thrown out leaves is a good, quick way to have mulch on hand–a bit of lime will help off-set the acidity of the oak leaves

The Old Man's Beard tree in our front lawn said spring had sprung.

The Old Man’s Beard tree in our front lawn said spring had sprung.

The pineapples had made it through the winter and gave us a number of nice sized fruits…

There is nothing like a fresh, actually ripened pineapple

There is nothing like a fresh, actually ripened pineapple(they take two years to fruit.)

The pineapples tasted so good I decided to make a pineapple garden in the back by our pool…I dug for two days

theses weeds are actually a type of radish.

Theses weeds are actually a type of radish. (May)

I already have about 12 pineapple growing in all stages around the yard. I simply cut the tops off and plant them every time I buy one. But I wanted more….

I went to a local  food store- Wards- and caught them on a day they were coring pineapple for sale in the back of the building. They gave me a box of thirty pineapple tops to plant for free! Sweet!!! (Anyone can do this.)

planted and ready to grow....for here on out, but for weeding, it just takes a spritz of water now and then to help them along.

Planted and ready to grow….from here on out, but for weeding, it just takes a spritz of water now and then to help the plants along.( a one year old plant is seen on the far left)

Meanwhile, the garden kept growing….

Sure fresh food is the point, but the flowering process for garden plants is a beautiful thing to watch.

Sure fresh food is the point, but the flowering process for garden plants is a beautiful thing to watch.(Squash flower-spring)

The crops came in around May 15th, ahead of the bugs and it was time to pick.

I found my local crop workers( Grand kids) and got them working....

I found my local crop workers( Grand kids) and got them working….

Dang we picked piles-

Dang, we picked piles-Shadow, -our dog- supervised the work.(He loves to eat green beans off the plants so I often ‘garnish’ his wagging.)

Food—-without any sprays-I hand kill bugs-…I use one 10-10-10 pound bag per year, spread out evenly over a 30 X 40 foot garden…the rest is mulch break down and  compost from our daily living.  After ten years of gardening in this same spot, I have one zillion worms in the soil.

the yeild for the spring garden was 22 pounds of green beans

The yield for the spring garden was 22 pounds of green beans; 15 pounds of peppers; three months worth of asparagus green beans; 21  pounds of tomatoes; a trifle of sweet corn; some squash, lots of egg-plant, cucumbers and radishes, too. The fall garden pitched in tons of  collard greens; lettuce-three varieties, more green beans, spices, and, for the first time,,,carrots…..

but we also grew these asparagus, or yard long bean in place of poles this year and I'm quite pleased with teh amount of food they gave and the taste(plus, the climb, so you don't have to bend to harvest.)

We grew these asparagus, or yard long beans, in place of poles this year and I’m quite pleased with the amount of food they gave and the taste(plus, they climb, so you don’t have to bend to harvest as you do bush beans.)

 picking the asparagus green bean--I highly recommend these

Picking the asparagus green bean–I highly recommend these(pickin’ all spring, into summer and Fall)

The crops kept coming as the lemon trees ripened.

The crops kept coming as the lemon trees  and basil ripened.

the peppers, and tomatoes were great--tomatoes , to me, are the biggest reward for gardening, and the toughest to get a harvest form--cherries are much easier than big boys, etc...but we got those ,too.

The peppers, and tomatoes were great–tomatoes , to me, are the biggest reward for gardening, and the toughest to get a harvest from–cherries are much easier than big boys, etc…but we got those ,too.(June)

sage is a wonderful plant to see

Sage is a wonderful plant to see-(Fall)

When the Chinese Honey’s(citrus) start to come in Nov. 1st–it’s all hands and mouths on deck!

my crew is ready

My crew is ready

378 (2)

The Chinese Honey trees are very cold hardy and can tolerate 18 degrees for up to ten hours with no problem once well established…The fruit is seeded, but the sweetest Mandarin type you can find.

Chinese honeys--it's important to note, the picker will reach up and pull the fruit, but also tear off the very top of the fruit,leaving you few days to eat that,,,so somehow hand picking when possilb eis best.

Chinese Honey–it’s important to note, the picker will reach up and pull the fruit, but also tear off the very top of the fruit, leaving you only a few days to eat that fruit,,,so somehow hand picking using a clipper when possible is best.(Nov. 15th)

Because I got lucky, the citrus trees I planted happen to ripen from Nov 1st thru the end of March….,nice, huh? I inherited the Chinese Honey, early ripening, planted the seedless navels-blood oranges- they ripen Dec-Jan,,, and then planted my dad’s favorite Valencia-ripens Jan thru March. In the middle of it, I planted a Mineola Tangelo since I went to Mineola high school-that ripens Nov-Dec. In the end,,,we are lucky this year to have a huge crop, though much different from last years 1500 orange yield. This year, maybe 1000, and the red navels are for the most part not good—I suspect we had a too hot of a Nov.and Dec for them.

A Hard freeze warning found me out til 12:30 Pm picking 450 oranges just in case they wouldn't make it thru the cold.

A Hard freeze warning found me out til 12:30 PM picking 450 oranges just in case they wouldn’t make it thru the cold.(Dec. 2015)

hundreds picked, hundreds still hanging on the trees.

I picked hundreds with many  hundreds more still hanging on the trees.

I brought one hundred int ot work and gave several hundred to my grand kids--they are, after all, the reason for it all

I brought one hundred into work and gave several hundred to my grand kids–they are, after all, the reason for it all-(Nice crop of grapefruit this year, too.)

All the while, the peppers kept peppering.

Yes...you get the idea,,,,

Yes…you get the idea,,,,(Summer-fall)

Anyway,,,you can reach me thru this glob,-blog-, for advice, encouragement, or to call me names…cheers… grow Gainesville. That should be the name of this town…

Peace, and it’s just about time to plant, again. We’ll be enjoying citrus until late March. Yum.

Franque23


the lake from above

the lake from above-

The scene was so beautiful– one sunset gave a deep teal blue water-color, all lined in black by  High Rock, trees, hills, with a blazing red stripe that span across the whole western skyline, and above, as if an icing on a red velvet cake, whisk a band of turquoise blue. Soon, that enchanted blue gave way to a deepening, darker sky that grew to reveal the first stars of the night.

This isn't the exact shot....no where near red enough---but somehow I've lost 36 pictures taken this fall at the lake during a transfer from my camera to computer--drat!

This isn’t the exact shot….the sky’s nowhere near red enough—but somehow I’ve lost 36 pictures taken this fall at the Lake during a transfer from my camera to computer–drat!

Here's a shot more like what we saw this Fall---picture taken by another Lake Bonapartean....

Here’s a shot more like what we saw this Fall—picture taken by another Lake Bonapartean….

The loons never disappoint, their call echoing from the Twin Sister shoreline where so few cabin lights glimmered.

Loon calling---I may have clipped this from the Lake Bonaparte group on FB...Thanks for this!

Loon calling—I may have clipped this from the Lake Bonaparte group on FB…Thanks for this!**

This September had been a warm one with lake temperatures in the high seventies, the air full of breeze that fluttered leaves partly turned but for the Swamp Maple already ablaze with yellow, red and gold.

This bulletin board came form my lake, 'Happy Place'.

This bulletin board came from my Lake, ‘Happy Place’.

restful moments abound

restful moments abound…*

There was no way to suspect a two-day rain would soon drop the water to seventy-though three days after that storm, on our day to depart, warmer weather was coming to continue a sun that could heat any dock by afternoon.

I ran across the dock joined by two grandsons, seven and six, and cannon balled  splashing waves to either side. Sometimes, I even wore a suit.

I’d always thought, as do my family, relatives and friends, that being up at the Lake makes me feel good, food tastes better, I sleep soundly, and a plop in the lake before breakfast ends any fuzzes from the late night before. This dip is sound advice-the refreshing dunk makes any weather better. But, as it turns out, there’s more to the Lake than the scene, the water, the loon, the rocks, trees, hills and grassland-for us and for so many, it is a place of family, and seemingly a million options when it comes to enjoying the Lake with relatives.

Fifty-eight family members cast a cheer your way.

Fifty-eight family members cast a cheer your way.(Lach Franquemont photo)

It's so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.l

It’s so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.*

Here’s looking at you!65299_10200263764660325_1194979476_n

Goodbye for now.**

Franque23

  • *Pics by Dale Franquemont
  • ** Drafted off Lake Bonaparte FB page

Book one, Avatar Magic, and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now. Please enjoy this Sci-fi romance.

Book one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0NYO80
Book two: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KXMIIOK


“I love the Lake!” How many Lake Bonaparte lovers have said those words?!?!? Scads, zillions, bunches of happy people. “Food taste sooo good up there!” Mouths stuffed with fresh fish, Croghan Baloney and New York Cheddar  smile to say the words.

I simply accepted the truism all my life that it felt great to be at Lake Bonaparte! There was never any question, and I didn’t need to ask my cousins about the fact, either.

a gargantuan family line up by Sherman's boat house rental!

A gargantuan family line up by Sherman’s boat house rental!(Porter’s Bay.)

Boom! Another year, another shot of a cyclopean family gathering at Lake Bonaparte.

Boom! Another year, another shot of a cyclopean family gathering at Lake Bonaparte.

But, after 66 years of visits my mind in a random way started wondering exactly why it felt so good to be at the lake. Of course, there’s the beauty of the place-enough to bulldoze any problem away in a sunset of a second.

From our half-way dock in Porter's Bay

From our half-way dock in Porter’s Bay

And, there’s the people-family, loved ones, friends. Plus, ya just can’t leave out the relaxed atmosphere it seems people hang out in most of the time while up at the lake.

Still, I needed something a bit more tangible-why was I so happy at the lake, so bouncy up and down our set of sixty steps from the cabin to the dock below? How did staying up to see the Northern lights and then getting up early to fish work? At home, I often crawl in and out of bed, but I’ve a lawn to mow, bushes to trim, toes nails to cut and light bulbs to change at home. Maybe all that work weighs down the days at home? But Wait! I’ve boat loads of work to do at the lake-lawns to mow, trees to chain saw, docks to clean and treat-heck, often an entire year’s maintenance for the lake house is crammed into a two-week visit! Of course, I’m not working at my job while at the lake, and vacation has a way of making a fella feel good. Nah, none of those calculations added up to fishing, boating, rowing and bounding up stairs-having that superman feeling I enjoy experiencing while up at the Lake..

I may have found one secret to Lake Bonaparte’s all invasive power, it’s lure, like a plug to a fish, one underlying undeniable truth about the lake’s energy. It’s all about…..the air.

Right, taking in the air at the lake is akin to  walking into an oxygen tent. Breathing in at Lake Bonaparte zings the body full of new life. Fact-the air at Lake Bonaparte has 95% less hazardous air pollutants than the national average air American’s breath day in , day out! It figures the air is filtered by the Adirondacks, the largest track of free range land America has left.

It all makes perfect sense: pure air leads to clear minds, better smelling, tasting, maybe thinking, more energy and a happy feeling.  Wow and whew, I couldn’t believe the stats on the air when I stumbled across these findings…Enjoy the figures-

These findings over a 365 day period.

Harrisville                              New York City                    National

Air quality index 31 43                               50
Pollution index 230,538 9,468,840            5,072,052

The Harrisville, NY air quality index is a median value which considers the most hazardous air pollutants. The Harrisville, NY air quality index is 27.5% less than the New York average and 37.6% less than the national average.

The Harrisville, NY pollution index is the sum of the most hazardous air pollutants displayed in pounds. The Harrisville, NY pollution index is 97.6% less than the New York average and 95.5% less than the national average.

Air Pollution Information for Lake Bonaparte/Harrisville area

Pollutant Total
Arsenic 0.000%
Benzene 0.004%
Carbon Tetrachloride 0.001%
Lead 0.000%
Mercury 0.000%

So it all adds up, but this is to take nothing away from all that is Lake Bonaparte! What a mind-blowing place!!!

the lake is an easy ride.

The lake is an easy ride for the mind and body, especially the lungs.*I’ve no idea who took this shot—-absolute credit goes to them…

Lake Bonapartre is a living , breathing mediation…

I just love Lach Franquemont's shot from our dock.

I just love Lach Franquemont’s shot from our dock.

ONe year I came back from the lake a whipped this board up at work. The idea came to me while fishing sundown in mud lake.....

This board had to go up a few years back just after returning from the lake . The idea came to me while fishing sundown in mud lake…..

There’s nothing like a breath of fresh air to do the soul some good.

Franque23

Book one, Avatar Magic, and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now. Please enjoy this Sci-fi romance.

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