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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve always hated alarm clocks.

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

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

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

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

We live in an ocean of time.**

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

Let’s leave it open…

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

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

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

Franque23

We have to dream big.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leafing thru random news today……

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

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

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

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

Gulp!

We have so many more gardens to grow together!

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

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

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

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

Drum-stick roll……

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers from thank-goodness land.

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

Franque23

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 


Eating ribs tomorrow means there’s no point in dieting today! Why create a hole now only to fill it later?

Really, I may have been a bit literal in my younger days—like yesterday back—cause I thought I was what I ate. I’d sit at the dinner table as a kid and feel my legs and arms fill up first as I ate; it was super important to leave my hands empty for dessert.

BTW—I own typo’s, and as a wirter ( whoops…see dyslexic, too ) I can’t spell, either. So, I invent ways to remember things like how to spell desert or should it be dessert. No, just learning that dessert you eat has two S’s won’t work. This works: desserts are sweets (See=2 S’s in sweets.) There, it only took me 68 years to figure this one out and I’ve about, oh, a zillion more word spellings ot nail down. Oooops… there’s another typo I make a living offering. Ot=to.

I took a class on Excel yesterday and realized I don’t misspell words, I just write in Excel type formulas …ot=to; ti’s=it’s; htey=they; these are just a few formulas I type by. Then there’s that nagging form=from. Of course, there’s a way to pick one’s often misspelled words and set your computer to auto-adjust those to the correct spelling. But form=from or vice versa would be a never-ending (typing) nightmare, right?

Thank you for asking what keeps writers up at night or daydreaming during the day.(Okay, this part is made up. Please someone ask me a question—I don’t care how random…)

 Sixth grade graduation shot. I’m in the back row, the sixth boy from the right. I started writing stories in fourth grade. My teacher accused me of not being the author of my first submission, (maybe I wasn’t?) The story was about a man wrongfully accused of murdering a woman but who, none-the-less, was hung for the crime. I went into great detail about the wood box the falsely accused man stood on before being hung. My mom had to write a letter saying she knew I wrote the piece. Thing is, the process for me was like being told what to write by a voice I heard in my head, a voice that didn’t seem like or sound like me speaking at the time.

Did you know there’s a huge debate going on about adverbs—you know those LY endings along with long, hard, quick type words. Stephen King hates them while Mark Twain rowed the same boat ‘Yinly’….but the Yang side of the debate is loaded with good writers, Bigly.

Point of view is subjective but simple for me.  I’m always right and you’re wrong should we disagree but none of this is really about the Point of View writers work on.

POV is a whole different animal.

The question is, should the story be written in First person, even if that of a dead person, Third person Omniscient or limited, Second Person so rarely used or does it all flip-flop by chapter?  And how about using the unreliable narrator technique?  Writers may write one passage or book in different points of view to see which works best and, if it all sucks, then just throw out the work but not before they hammer out a past and present version, too, just to see.

How long does writing take?

This varies by writer, times and situations. I’ve finished four full length novels now and see the approximate time frame for me between starting a book and then having it on Kindle pages is about 2 years per book.  I always start writing by staring off into space while typing away. I might type out one paragraph, or a page or a long story that ends up being several chapters before reviewing the work to correct obvious errors in spelling, grammar, etc. Then I re-read the work for syntax, a better expression or word to use. Quick or slow; good or bad: writing takes time.

Here’s a good example, and remember I’ve written this glob about once per week (more than 500 times) over the past nine years, plus four books are finished with another done but not corrected and two others started, so I do write.  Why I write is due to some sort of brain damage but forget that—. Recently, I wrote a one page prologue that I may or may not use.  My wife likes it and my first writer said, “very good.’  Still, I don’t know. Thing is, I spent about five hours getting that one page done and I feel certain I’ll work more on the wording if I read it over again. That’s the key, a writer is never really done with anything they write; a book just ends when the final editor is done and the book is put on Kindle, or in some format, or published hard copy.

So the very long answer to how much time writing takes has to be one word: forever.

Sunflowers growing from seeds dropped by birds at our bird feeder reach for the sky. It feels like forever.

To me, writing fiction is like living in a perpetual dream-like state that runs as a background to life 24/7 until the story is written. Then, in time, that story fades as a memory. Any disruption while writing, even an act of kindness,  can knock a writer’s angle to the story out of whack and it might take hours or sometimes days to get back on track, if ever!

My money’s on the dark place writers must go when they write. It’s called the soul. Whether they slip, slide, run, jump or dive head first, all writers have to get to the core issue of what they write if they hope to pull something good out of it. It’s a dark place full of fire; a tiring breath of fresh air. That’s where the stories take place.

I’m not ribbing you.

Cheers,

Franque23

(Writing time here was 46 minutes. Endless corrections and pictures about another hour.)


Check this out to understand…

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ross-franquemont-air-force-pilot-captures-stunning-images-of-northern-lights/

Ross didn’t start out this way, a hero now on international news. No, he started as a baby, then grew to be kind of lunatic 4-year-old who insisted on going to airports to watch planes land and take off. Basically, the kid was sick. Closets were recommended; no food for a week came up when that snot nosed kid wouldn’t leave  his dad my Cousin, Jed Franquemont, alone. “Take me to the airport ,dad!”

There were long discussions about the kids fascination for flight. If you can believe it, this little guy wished to be a pilot before most kids figure out how to dress themselves.

Nuts, it’s called. All of a sudden, this kid is taking pictures from a U-2 Plane?!?!?!

Anyway,  Ross probably survived thru the Grace of God, what do I know, he was just some punk of a kid running around making plane noises during family reunions up at Lake Bonaparte as I remember. I’ve got a feeling we launched him off the dock up at the lake more than once to see if he could really fly. Nope: the kid was a flat liner.

Hey flat earth people….it’s possible the Earth isn’t flat after all!

Then, one day I get a call from my cousin Jed who tells me the kid we worried about since the day he was born is a pilot in the Air Force.  Ha!whahahaha. So I cashed in all my bonds, whatever, figuring we were about to lose a war somewhere soon. That didn’t happen and we all started to wonder?

Next I knew this kid who wanted to fly before he could zip his own was flying Generals around Europe!?!?! I figured this had to be some sort of pedal push flight machine we never used as kids. Then I learned the truth.

How was Ross making all this look so real? Sell, Sell. Sell I said to Wall Street!

I need to go back a bit and mention that this kid was never known to drink much*, but , as it came out later, his friends in europe, and the entourage of followers who drafted his wings were huge, bigly drinkers. The result quickly became a shortage of name brand beers coming out of Europe . This forced those brewers and others to develop many off-shoot beers and labels to try to circumvent the slaughter of the known labels his followers were causing…Now, it’s all history. The world has One zillion labels of beer on the shelves, and all of this is due to Ross Franquemont and his followers.

Next, kinda like a meteorite landing on your head, this single ,”I wanna be a pilot, Dad,” nuisance of a son became a U-2 pilot.  What?!?!? I said, “Sell everything and buy land in Russia.”

Rain drops keep fallin’ on my head….Nay, don’t think so.

Now before the women of the world start hoping to join the 70 thousand mile high  club with Ross they need to know that this is Jessica Franquemont, Ross’ wife. Thing is she’s beautiful, smart, articulate, kind and deadly. So kind , in fact, that she says anyone can have Ross as long as they’re six feet under and well decomposed.  Momma bear raises her three little ones with a tight fist and eagle eye! Just forget it: code to live by.

I’m certain Jessica has a good aim…

Yep, this is Ross Franquemont with his wife.. 

A great guy, true husband and father of three…he makes all of us proud. “Sorry dear, I’ll be 70 thousand miles high in the air tonight so don’t hold dinner.”

Ross Franquemont: a true Hero.

NO, Ross didn’t sink a forty-foot jumper to win the NCAA basketball championship; he didn’t heave a hail Mary pass to win the football championship. All Ross has done for the past 18 years and counting is help keep America and the World safe.

When I look up, “Hero,” in the dictionary, Ross Franquemont is in the definition.

Cheers

Franque23

*Maybe

Ross- it was that Franque23 guy who wrote all of this, not me.. Cheers, Unc.

 

 

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, there is an answer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless America.

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

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

Franque23


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.

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view)

It can be fun to see what people have done with snow over the decades…

Ski-cars?

so let’s take a look…..

Like way before I was a tie wearing sixth grader in Meadow Drive—(I’m the 6th from the right in the back row)

Way before our house on Long Island, N.Y. was often buried by nor’easter’s during the winter. Here’s a pic. of our home in Roslyn Heights. My room was second floor on the left.

Long before I built this snowman to my father’s delight and Mom gave me the carrot for the nose…

Gal’s used to,’shovel sled,’ as it was called. I think these gals were having fun! 

Here’s three actual Olympic champions sharing the limelight….about 1928–all three were medal winners-1st thru 3rd in figure skating.

Boys will be boys; girls will be girls- this group decided to dance in the snow in what was called ‘ underwear’ back then. 1926…so this photo is extremely risque …..

Here’s New York City in the 1920’s. (I’m guessing the man ‘breaking his neck’ thought one of the ladies was a ‘looker.’)

Whoops, here’s our lake house at Lake Bonaparte, New York, just in the foot hills of the Adirondacks. Thinking this was taken about three years ago. It went down to -25 this year up at the lake. Our camp is in the background.

It can snow a bunch up there- people have landed planes on the ice of Lake Bonaparte and often drive cars over it during the deep winter months.

Speaking of driving….all sorts of methods were developed in the past to glide cars over the snow.

And, at one time, Santa lived in the Adirondacks…People could go meet his reindeer!

Some Europeans are very used to the snow. Here they bask in the daylight warmth at a restaurant!!! I don’t imagine I’d visit unless I’d been served on ice.  Or, as a customer, “Please, may I have five gallons of hot tea, like now….”

Okay, this is interesting…These two gals were sisters and a successful dance/comedy routine in the flapper era…they worked under the name, The Dolly’s….hmmmm,, Hello, Dolly anyone?

Through rain, sleet and snow–they really meant it and still do.

I’m thinking this boy’s love for this doggie has nothing to do with the keg on the dog’s neck.

Do policemen always get it in the end? Nah, they’re just all havin’ fun.

Why am I thinking this isn’t the best way to test the ice? Unless I’m the guy on the far left…

Here’s the deal, people like to do just about anything in the snow. Making snow angels, snow balls as big as a car, snow ball fights are huge, sledding, sliding, rolling on the snow and making snow forts as I did as a kid-it’s all fun! People ski naked, run and jump into snow naked and have a ball(no pun intended) naked* in the snow.

Snow is truly a winter wonderland but for driving. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I love to drive in the snow…” Nope, not once.

But still, snow fall can be magical. I could watch snow fall from my bedroom window as a kid in the street light located on the corner of our property on Long Island. Soft and whirling, silent but so real, the piles of snow upon the trees, yards, cars and street filled my eyes with delight. It all meant that tomorrow there would be no school, and in the morning I’d run out onto the unblemished lawns of blanketed snow to be the first to step across the pristine, smooth snow-fallen landscape. Those foot prints have remained in my heart forever though my red boots have long been cast aside.

There’s magic to life, and snow is part of the wonder.

Now, I’m more than forty years a Florida boy, but I’ve never forgotten snow. Never will.

Franque23

bye 

*you’ll have to google that yourself….

 

 


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

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

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

 

It’s so bad showers are scary.

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

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

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

Hmmmm, okay, let’s get real…

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

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

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

I promise!

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

See? I know you.

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

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

Cheers….good luck.

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

It’s a brand new year, baby!

Franque23


Jed’s still a child in my mind’s eye. We’re running across the bluff by Lake Bonaparte where our lake house stands today; his brother Johnny is still alive. Jed’s a skinny kid who knows more than me, taller,  wise with eyes clear enough to see through. We’re laughing for good reason—we don’t know any different.

The wild outside had nothing on our childhood dreams, hopes and expectations. The cool lake water tickled our toes and pleased our fancy. Our younger days passed so quickly, days never tethered but set free by a glistening lake so perennial and steadfast as the universe.

Jed, you’re forever my cousin.

Truth: the lake bunk house rocked with laughter. Sleeping bags kept us warm on cots as nights made of stars crept overhead. Jed had then and always a special knack that makes me belly laugh. I’d roll inside bent over after hearing his pensive hilarious words so dryly spoken without a wasted syllable. Recently, there was this moment:

“Oh, being a tax collector has it’s tough moments.”—I could see the painful far away look in Jed’s eyes— “Catching people cheating on taxes, fining them more than they can afford to pay and then working them through payment negotiations; it’s all tough. But that’s not the most fun I’ve had working-other things come up, too.” It’s belly laugh roll on the grass time for me.

We stood together, grown men on the bluff as the setting sun dazzled rolling lake waves. The wind seemed at our back; Beer Island, High Rocks, Birch Island and Round Island so distant punctuated every day we’d spent in the spot as children.

A few years later we visited the lake again…

“I’m not sure about going to the castle.” Jed puffed on his cigar as he looked my way.

“Why? It’s our family’s castle; we should go to Germany.”

“We’re so different now— I don’t know how that would work.”

“Ah, that’s all just politics; this is blood; it will be good.” (Jed told me eight years ago that he had a ‘special’ circular file where he put all my blogs*, especially the political ones…)

“Well,” puff on cigar again, “let me think about it.”

I thought Jed would come.

He belongs.

As it turned, Jed never did make the trip to Europe this past September. Opportunity, so often a doubled edged sword, has struck its blow. No, Jed was only there in spirit with me just as it is for every cousin of mine. To me, the bonds of family never break but boil in the blood and remain as resilient as images of  Lake Bonaparte appear in my head. Some cousins long dead 11 or 13 years ago, and even Johnny now 55 years gone, still linger in my heart.

Long ago, Grandma Franque smiled at our young, prancing feet at the lake in a way I can only appreciate some 60 years later. She saw what Jed and the rest of us had then; family. I feel that now.

Goodbye, Jed, my lakeside cousin.

It’s impossible to weigh a heavy heart-

Franque23

 

  • *.i.e. trash can

Yep– the loyal Republicans who have clamored for decades about States Rights verses a strong central Government of rampant legislation now approve the concealed weapon permit from one state to another no matter how any state’s populace has voted on the issue. Wow…

How’s about all the taxes ‘righties’ have clamored against for sooo long but now their guys in Congress are all ‘feel good’ about double taxation! Yes, that’s right…er it’s wrong, but whatever,…Thing is if you limit the deductions of ANY state paid states or local taxes than people’s earnings that paid those taxes will once again be taxed as income–a second time, get it? So Republicans now promote double taxation! Let’s all stand up and cheer…right? Or, should we all take a knee?

We all need to take a walk in my ancestor’s garden and talk things over….

Trump’s team of slurred meaning slips up to the idea that Trump’s Mar A Lago estate in Palm County is the so-called, “Southern White House.”  But that’s “Not true,” say every sense of reality. Trump owns this semi-palace and he has Doubled the fees paid by public users since his election!!! Gee–wait, what? Is Trump profiting from his Office?!??! Er, duh!

“Hello! Hello! Trump’s privately profiting off his office–that’s illegal…”

A zillion meme’s and posted notes have expressed despair at the over-all doings of this current administration-cutting the knees out from under the needy, undermining our healthcare system and stashing billions of tax cuts for the rich into his next run for office.  And then we have this administration increasing taxes on anyone not extremely wealthy via a misnomer-ed ‘tax cut’ that will really be a tax increase as years pass for anyone not in the top 1% of tax payers.

But I felt this reader, (okay-my wife) said a few things very well in this….

“It is a dilemma. I know that I generally do tend to think that people who don’t see things my way are wrong. But there is so much history to prove that the GOP solutions have never worked, and have been destructive, and have led to the economic disparity and shrinking of the middle class, I find it so hard to respect people who don’t look at the history,or science, or have some agenda that I find offensive. Especially where bigotry and exclusion come into play. I prefer the motto “Humanity matters”. It is hard to disagree and still maintain some semblance of a relationship. But that leads to further polarization. Arguing doesn’t work, because minds are fixed. There is a belief that Trump will turn the economy around for everyone by bringing business back.If so, I hate the cost, and have a secret hope that businesses have learned the lessons of lawsuits when their lack of regulation led to illness and death. Everyone should re-visit Erin Brockovich. Things were not working for too many, especially in the rust belt, and there is a division between the needs of urban and rural voters. Maybe the world will move ahead in energy and conservation of resources without the GOP and US government. But I sure hate that about 30% of my income goes to taxes that ultimately do not provide me with a better quality of life, but a worse one,”

My way-smart wife….

Well, like it or not, the entire American work force is about to be , “Trickled down” upon…get towels.

The environmental blood bath featured by this administration is a wretched thing to behold. Somewhere, somehow, this group of right-winged Christians in Washington have forgotten it’s our charge to care and nurture this God-given Earth…

Ireland’s earth

It’s been a great ninth year for this glob post; readers from sixty-four countries read this glob last year, a bit down from sixty-seven countries the previous year and I have to wonder: did a few countries get blown up or something? Hope not, but our ex-security head gives us a 3 in 10 chance of having a nuclear blow-out with North Korea. Who likes those odds? Not me.

Those are the odds?

I like Peace; love. How about you?

We are too perfectly normal.

Much more to come this year. I’ve an entire side of my family you don’t know much about and it’s a wonderful, American story. Plus, I’ve loads of pictures from 2017 yet to post on gardening fun and family cheer!  See you soon….

We can do this thing. We can get our country together again, strong, back on track and be World Leaders once again.

Cheers for 2018.

 

Franque23

 

 

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