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Imagine, you were born and once lived happily in a Levittown community on Long Island.

Your home town of Roslyn Heights was a Levitt built community….this pic is of a Levittown that was built further away from NYC out on the Island than your home, but it was the same type of community.

You didn’t mind the winters and made piles (ahahah) of dough out of shoveling snow as a kid.

This was my life as I grew up.  Here is a picture of South Park, Roslyn Heights and the house I lived in. Back in the 1950’s we got Nor’easters (snow storms) that blanketed the homes and streets and, thank God, stopped school!

But during college, maybe before, something snapped inside of me and I wanted wide open spaces….I wanted the wild, the untamed, the jungle or was it the wild west? Okay, I really wanted to see, Where the Boys Are*, in Fort Lauderdale and be one of those guys the gals were after. That worked out well and Florida became just that sort of jungle I was after.

I had no idea how Florida, land of melting sun, would attach itself to my soul but it did.

Now, I’ve lived here since ,errr,,, 1972ish?

I’ve had a wonderful time in the surf—I love to surf waves.

This is me catching a good ride.

My wife and I had a rabbit who lived out back in Micanopy in his cage. One morning we awoke to look out and find a bob cat on top of his cage…..that started me thinking….(Don’t go out at night to pee…..)

Apparently, I’m not the only one to have found nature at my door step here in Northern Florida

Heck, I knew I loved this place of wonder, a place of untamed nature.

But I never lost my eye for the power of that nature as well… We landed on the moon, but maybe we don’t control gators?

It’s okay to count on fences to a certain degree…

So there’s a beauty and danger to Florida none of us Floridians should forget.

How about a night dip in the pool?

And then, only twice, I saw in person and close up by mistake, a Great Horned Owl…They can fly up to 40 MPH and have been known to pick up and kill 60 pound pets!! Our dog, I suspect, was attacked twice by one in our fenced in backyard—where he never goes at night anymore.

 

This is a shot tripped by a night camera….

I was running in the woods about thirty years ago when I saw a beast of a bird…it seemed to stand more than three feet tall and when he took off his wing span was about five feet! Just wow. I once saw another Great Horned Owl as I drove down Rochelle Road outside of Micanopy. The bird took off before I reached him and traveled over the road for about one tenth of a mile right before our car. That bird’s wing span seemed to almost reach from side to side of a double lane road–no joke. It was as if we were seeing a dinosaur.

I’ve fished the swamps for over ten years in my younger (err risky?) days….and there’s a beauty to a swamp—not a McDonald’s or Starbucks to be seen.

But always, there are gators. How many gators?

( Those eyes all belong to gators.)

This is the Alachua Sink in Alachua County, Florida. It’s about  one mile from our home. And this shot, by John Moran got him nation wide PR. His photos have appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, the New York Times Magazine and on the cover of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. Dale and I were lucky enough to canoe down the Suwanee River with John, a time I’ll never forget for many reasons but one of them was having a wart hog pushing against my head from the other side of our tent as I slept at night as he rooted for food.

So, I’ve rooted here in Florida. I love the ocean, always have. And, I love to grow food as my father from Iowa taught me to do. Of course, we have a garden as any Floridian with the space should.

At six months , Shadow, didn’t know he wasn’t me, or human, exactly, and he helped me weed…I miss that help now.

You might be able to see, but at one year old, Shadow figured he should eat green beans right off the plant as we did as we picked them! He stopped eating green beans at about age two.

Once, I was drying herbs out in the front yard in foil sheets when a cop came by, stopped, and walked my way with a grin and his hand on his gun…I smiled and said hello… He looked down at my tins of herbs and said, “What do you have here?”.. “I’m drying herbs!” He wasn’t convinced so I walked him over to the garden and showed him the plants….”Well, I thought I had you busted for pot!”

I can’t blame him….but I didn’t add that I might have learned the entire process by growing and drying pot in my twenties:-)

So, we grow pineapples, too….

Mounds of oranges and grapefruit, too.

It’s all good. This city slicker found a home in the Northern Florida woodland, and I love it.

Heck, the tomatoes came in like a champ this year; Dale canned many.

From Levittown to the wilds of Northern Florida, I’m good. I don’t miss the hustle up north, the quicker pace of life or the traffic. No, I’m good with the gators, bob cat, owls and other critters. The sky here is open to see, and the ocean wind still washes the peninsula by four or five each afternoon. Gainesville is just 60 milers north of the Sub Tropical line. We live in a jungle of 24/7 year round growing just about. The birds love it, and so do I.

Cheers– thanks for visiting.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Franque23

*https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054469/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s impossible to miss the beauty. It was more than the three day drive up to the lake that split my head open as I looked at the lake during our first moment getting there. The colors of the lake displayed a vibrancy seldom seen in any urban center or sprawl. The  sky paled above the lake’s deepest blue waters; the green landscape never appeared so inviting. The warming earth beneath my felt felt like home.

Every day, no, every hour up at the lake shakes out a different tone as the breeze rustles the trees. Each day features an ongoing exchange of wind and water that forces waves near and far to rise and fall or, at other times, and mostly at morning or night, flattens the lake’s surface to the look of a mirror. This is when reflections take the lake’s tapestry over and commands attention to every watery detail so neatly bound to the look of the shore.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Thanks to Susan  for this picture…

A crane lazily cuts across the sky; a school of nipping brown trout dot our bay’s surface water as a darkened circle that moves left to right. A hawk whistles from above and turns my head up where I see the white wispy clouds streaming from the west are gaining size. The shoreline cedars blast scent and contrast to the whitest black and grey birch. The humming bird wings by to dot the, “Oh My!”

Aptly put, Lake Bonaparte is an onslaught of beauty to behold for the jumping young, strapping aged or the resting old. The lake is always game for the viewing. The sun-twinkled waters or rain laden storms that move across the lake spark the imagination and ignite an internal yearning to be closer to the nature of our life. The peace of the place seems all so easy to attain but so far away, and all at once. Do a cannon ball on that thought. I don’t care who you are—a cannon ball into the lake will do you good; it’ll put a smile upon your face.

We’re facing the sunset…taken her down. a nightly ritual.

This shot seemed to burn the camera lens!

Sometimes, I just have to laugh. How could I be so lucky to be at Lake Bonaparte? How could all of us who abide by these shores be so fortunate? Life is a weave and there’s a spin to it, a stitch of fate that sets us where we are. I’m so glad this thread is part of my life. For almost seventy years now via my parent’s or my own footfalls I’ve made it here.  There’s so much to be thankful for, right? There’s so much to take in.

This has to be one of my favorite shots of Bonaparte…and I don’t remember if I clipped this off another’s posting or not? Forget.

I love the light in the clouds above.

From a few years back….

There are endless postcards of Lake Bonaparte to send, right? And all of them are kept safe inside—there’s a comfort to this, trust me.

cheers

Franque23


(Click the pic for a larger view…)

Hi, Shadow’s here to help me tell you about my year gardening since August 2018

It’s one thing to plant citrus and a garden on your property; it’s another to harvest. Of course, I love it all—I love to be in touch with the changing seasons, the sun angle, the forecast and amount of rainfall. Yep, I love it all. Why? I can’t exactly say. It’s work, that’s for sure. The ins and outs of gardening and growing fruit trees takes time, attention and execution at the right time. These are things that don’t wait for me to be ready but, rather, they have ways of telling me when they are. A farmer has to ,’snap-to,’ when it comes to planting and harvest time.

Case in point, this first picture above. Thing is, it was a mild winter, but one day they put out a 28 degree forecast for extended hours(never came to be at all) So, I raced out after work (I work til about 9:15 PM)with flashlight held in my mouth as I picked a hundred plus tomatoes before they froze. I also picked the lemons, large and small, eggplant, sage and basil….it was a hard night that ended about at midnight. I put these green ones into large super market brown paper bags, about twenty or so in each, and they ripen in them….Some will rot, but if you check every few days and pull out the ripening ones to put on a counter, you’ll get most of them ripe.

But that wasn’t the start of the season, a planting that was made in mid August.

I got a soft(small) crop of bush green beans this fall(why? When I’ve yielded twenty-three pounds recently-that’s farming) but the foot long Asian beans took off. Cheers for my one yellow squash! This was around Oct, 2018

 

The tomatoes starting coming in as well

I started an outside fence line of marigolds early on,,,and they might be part of the reason my tomato plants ended up nine feet tall with up to 25 tomatoes on them per bush in January..I’m not sure,, it may have been more due to this year’s endless growing season.

About this season…from August 2018 until now, Feb. 2019…I’ve never seen anything like it…The garden is still producing lettuce, collard greens, kale , and eggplant and a tomato or three here and there.

BTW– have you ever looked at an eggplant flower? Here’s one. I say hello.

Another gift of the weather is a robust growing season for the pineapples,,,.. I’ve about 40 plants growing here and there around the property,, and all from cutting off the tops of one’s I bought, or from a box full from Ward’s who gave me their top cutting on the day they cored their selection of pineapples for the public (you can call them to find out when they might have a box of cut-off tops)….do it.

To a great satisfaction, the pineapples may have done well so far this winter. They take two years to fruit, so getting thru a winter is a must for them… BTW– if you have never eaten a hand-picked ripe pineapple that’s truly golden  deep yellow, you’ve never really tasted one. That’s another thing that gardeners get back: the taste of fresh food ,, like the taste of food picked that day or a couple of days before eating is AMAZING…..much different than even from most farmer’s markets….

and oh, the Camellias—how wonderful. We’ve red and white. We need a blue, right?

Herbs are easy to grow, and don’t take much space. Pots on balconies work well, even. I do use mine fresh-that’s best, but you can dry them on tin foil in the sun to keep year round… just get them totally dried, and crunch them up into old spice bottles..so far, after several years, I haven’t had a problem with this method.

(Basil and a bit of Thyme)

Shadow follows me everywhere I go during the year,, whether I’m working the soil, picking oranges, or smelling flowers.. he is my, Shadow! How could I be so lucky to have gotten him?

Of course, when I read how much nutrients levels drop off from food so many days out of picking, or read about roundup being in our food chain, or any other added chemicals, it spurs me on to get the soil ready without chemical to plant, and then harvest. All of us in Florida, at least, should have a range of food planted around their dwellings—it really doesn’t take much space; just work, patients and some hand done bug squashing.

There’s nothing like listening to the birds chatter as hawks cry from above while being out there working the soil.

Greening is a major problem throughout much of the world now for citrus, and my small 2 acres or less is no exception.*  This means more work for me, and not only in that about 500 hundred citrus won’t ripen this year, but guess who has to pick up all that fruit off the ground? Oh yeah, full-time job now. What had been a 1500 piece citrus crop two years ago is now about 1000, and it will only get worse until the trees only bear blooms(which are heavenly) and sour fruit. But this is what it is.

I bring fruit to work for my workmates several times per week, Nov 1st thru about March 1st;…My grandchildren and their parents get more than they can eat, I think.  My neighbors all get fruit and my doctors do as well! Even my Tax guy gets some:-)  The mail guys and garbage technicians do as well….this makes it all worth the effort.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of planting a pecan tree…seems reasonable. Yes, there are blue berries and pears and apples as an option but, so far, I’ve found the squirrels like those options as well…and they clean out the pickin’s on them.

We recently put in Avocados and have two papayas growing that I hope make it.

Go ahead,,, look into planting this spring. Write me, if you like. Growth is a miracle; join in the effort.

Cheers, and keep growing.

Franque23

 

see you later…

*https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2016/10/12/citrus-production-continues-to-decline-in-florida


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…this is my seasonal bulletin board and seasonal card to you!

I remember too well the moment I entered my parents Christmas party to sing, Jingle Balls, Jingle balls, to a fit of laughing cocktail holding adults. This was to be my big debut (but why is this spelled like what it was for me?) Anyway, I was too young to take anything to heart, and I left knowing I sang the heck out of that song.

There were so many warm Christmas mornings at the Franquemont household on Long Island. I never lacked for anything; my eyes only looked out with hope, curiosity and with acceptance that I was given by my parents and siblings.  It was an easy breezy life as I ran down the stairs first in line ahead of my brother and sister to race to a present laden Christmas tree. Blocks, coloring books and rocket launchers were the stuff of Christmas. The stockings were stuffed with candy but for that one stupid apple Mom always put in the bottom. Then, I never understood that Mom had been raised on her father’s mission in Recife, Brazil,  and an apple was a treasure to hoard for her. Of course, I’d give anything to find an apple put there by Mom in my stocking now, but she is seven years gone. She’s a smile in the clouds, the rolling waves at any beach, the diamond stars up north at Lake Bonaparte on a clear, crisp night and the warmth of the beach sand that conforms to my body as seagulls call from above. She is so much of every Christmas.

I remember Dad torturing me by making my ten-year old hands shovel three feet deep to start a new garden. It seemed so wrong to be digging around Christmas, but now I’ve had gardens here in Florida for the past 40 years. And when I dig dad’s eyes are looking through mine and his voice rings my ears with, “That a boy.” I hear the eagle call from high above and I know he is there gliding, swooping, free.

Part of getting older is hording a ton of memories. Thoughts of years gone by and the people who stayed with them and left as well are a treasure chest buried deep within, one locked for safety by the heart. I’ve still journeys ahead, and so many behind. I’d like to think that I’ve grown wiser with the passing years–certainly I know Jingle Bells now. But, for whatever reason this Christmas day, I found myself walking through our garden and thinking about all the division the world over is experiencing today.

It may surprise you to know that I am several things beyond a library worker, a neighbor, a father, grandfather,gardener, writer of this glob and books on Kindle,a fisherman, builder, but also a minister who was lucky enough to perform the marriage of my niece.  I have a favorite passage in the Bible I try to follow,

Proverbs 3:6 Living Bible (TLB)

In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

If all of humanity were to take this message to heart the world would change. I’m certain it is in every  kind religious teachings; if only we could listen. I try to never forget these words as I thank God for every little thing I take time to notice as I go about my day.* Of course, I’ve fallen as short of this instruction as any could many times, but I try.

So this Christmas, the fertile garden, Mom’s gentle smile and Father’s certain voice led me to consider what my personal message might be this Christmas.

Here it is:

Being whatever gender or preference you are is a part of the natural passage of humans throughout our existence. We need to stop this fight of exclusion. This is Christmas, and it’s a great time for everyone to come to this realization. The stars remind us that the light is within us-if we’d only let it shine. Acceptance feels good; expressing hate or rejection is bad for the soul. We need to let people be.

Sometimes I think the worst word in our language is, ‘No.’ Using no is quick and sometimes needed, but often it is used when taking the time to teach proactively why whatever is being asked or done is not a good idea would otherwise move the mind forward. The best word in our language is, ‘Yes.’ I’m going to try to use it more in 2019. I hope you join me. Cast aside hate. Raise hope and acceptance.

Cheers… hugs, and Merry Christmas!

Franque23

  • I most concur with the, ‘God however known,’ concept.

*

A very blue wave.

A couple of thoughts to light up the season.

  1. It’s no secret Republicans took a whippin’ in the 2018 mid-terms. The House of Representatives flipped blue by a large margin and likewise Republicans lost State representatives seats across the country. This was much more than a ,’standard,’ mid-term correction vote. This vote was a cry heard loud and clear by both party’s. Republicans were able to hold Texas, slip by Florida and out-right cheat to win Georgia, but over all, the party took a slogging at the polls.

What appeals to me most is this blue wave came about via standard rich donors as well as grass root donations. The tide is more than turning blue, the presence of foreign donations via secret PACS may be washing away, and gerrymandering will be re-whittled in many states. I’d say new people running for office—so many women—(Right? :-))along with Pelosi’s help kept most races on point: on healthcare concerns, medicare and social security.  But there’s still a lot of fog surrounding these issues and how best to drive them home in 2020.

2) The charge for climate change is well meaning but poorly framed for those hoping to gain a political leg up in 2020. It’s a discussion that can’t be won by scientifically based facts or mouth foaming, delusional thinking. Nope, the world has spun too many times for any of us to prove warming trends that spell disaster are part of natural course within the World’s environmental history or not.

Nope, arguing over climate change is exactly what Trump wants his opponents to do.

If you like Trump, argue climate change.

If you hope Trump falls into an oil slick laden with Red Tide, argue pollution.

In fact, if you want to win in 2020 steer clear of climate change. Instead, ask voters to raise their hands if they want toxic drinking water? Do they want to swim in oil slick oceans? Let’s count the hands. Do people want to bathe in fracking industrial waste or not? Let’s hear ye! These are issues Trump’s policies fail to address, worse, they add to the pollution of our living environment.  The beauty of focusing on pollution instead of harping about climate change is that IF we  get control over pollution we will actually be doing all Mankind can do to stem climate change. No, controlling pollution may not solve climate change, but attacking and ending pollution is the best we can do about it. Point: sidestep climate change in 2020.( Put a small boat in your backyard instead.)

Now, a prayer. I pray for wisdom we haven’t seen when dealing with the marching South Americans. Some politicians are starting to ask why we are sending soldiers when we could have been sending help? Yes, the policies of Trump on this issue are plain wrong. If you see a problem coming there may be another way to solve it other than fighting it.

We need more Zen in our leadership.

America, BTW, is huge and loaded with tons of money and power.  America can and should have mobilized a huge peace force sort of coalition to march on down to our boarder via govt. funded fare to build housing for these people who flee for their lives and march to the U.S. If you’re getting checks from the U.S. for not working, I say you’re on the planes. We’re going to use as many U.S. products as possible to build communities where these people can stay until entirely vetted, politically and health wise.  Bingo American industries of every sort—you just struck it rich by a huge government demand for every commodity you produce! They need food? Bingo, mid-west farmers! Your load of customers just arrived and our tax dollars will buy your food and ship it to where it’s needed.

But where will the money come from to support a Hoover Dam type project to turn an unused place into a living space? It’s called tax dollars—you know the ones our government wastes every day in about every way.

Idea! We could start finding the money needed to house these immigrants by dropping 50% less bombs around the world every day.  If we did stop our morbid need to bomb the world, our government coffers would be raining money instead of death and destruction.

Think about it: imagine. The U.S. actually accepts a large immigrant population wisely, securely, without shooting or jailing a single kid! America shows what must be done to support and help our migrating populations the world over!!! How neat it would be for America to become world leaders, the ones who saved the world once again!

There it is: thoughts and prayers done right, without guns but with brain power, might, will, huge amounts of money and a willing workforce. There it is: a booming economy led by successful life giving policy. There would be wrinkles to iron out, but this should have been our focus, not walls, closed boarders and an army.

The up and coming new lot of Democratic politicians understand that thinking straight is easy to do. Here’s five examples of women who schooled together, stuck together and all won seats in Colorado  state Legislature in 2018.  This article is quite a read; a map to political success and strength.

https://people.com/politics/five-female-friends-state-senate-colorado-won/

Cheers

Franque23….Om

  • Please note…this ocean shot is from that ,’sh*t hole,’ country, Mexico.

Pumpernickel was the most foreign thing around the neighborhood back in my childhood days. A salted Frito was the a vanguard chip and guacamole remained a word hard to pronounce or spell. Now? That long ago time resides on the far side of a poorly mark rut in the road of life.

Certainly, I grew up in a part of America awash in feel good innocence. Then, it was a time of hope for those who lived under the disappearing shadow of World War II. We were the champions of the free world; the winners.

Grandpa was proud of his four boys who all fought in WW II (Dad is second from left.)

Flash: think no computers, no cordless phones of any kind, no internet, no chat, no what’s up, no what’s anything but for phones in phone booths or in homes that featured a brand new item: a tube TV  with about 3 to 13 channels. Now, I wonder what we all did all day?

Morality was a given…

Every kid knew to cross their fingers if they were going to lie; every guy knew girls were not only softer than boys, but annoyingly smarter as well. Still, none of us perceived a battle of the sexes or a societal wrong that had to be righted. Heck no, elementary school years were filled with just people—guys I palled around with and girls I was thinking about getting to know.

Things started to change in Junior High. (1960ish). The fall out of line and get hung out to dry clicks appeared. Guys and gals mostly formed into three groups: the hoods, the sport rats and the way smart what’s up with that group.

Now, the hoods were bad people because some of them smoked cigarettes and they often wore black shirts. (Really not kidding, and I could almost add, they chewed gum in school) The sport rats, the group I belonged to, never smoked cigarettes and we wore saddle shoes.

Clearly, these huge differences were cause for great concern and animosity. Oddly this huge division between the Hoods and Sport Rats meant the gals had to decide which group to belong to and those lines once drawn rarely, if ever, changed through High School. I once ,’hit it off,’ with a gal from the hoods in history class and we became fast buddies. But, when I suggested a soda, she told me, terrified, “Oh no, I could never do that. My group would go nuts. Plus, you don’t know what I do.” So, I realized she smoked cigarettes….sad.

It was an innocent time compared to the likes of today.

Of course, I was young, free to smell the dandelions as I ran across our neighbors’ yard. I was free to imagine that near about everything America stood for and did was good and right. I was free of a bombardment of contraptions that now give us real-time access to things that are happening beyond our sight!

Please, if you are semi-young, like under 40, Imagine this: there was no news until the six o’clock T.V. broadcast; there was no minute-by-minute news of your friends, no daily breaking political sirens. Even the stock market could rally or crash without a peep until evening. Every thing, every day, was on hold until evening. People went to work without worry or care about daily events until nighttime, until they’d gone home and had a cocktail, a smoke or rest.

In many ways, the multitasking, tied to your smart phone generation is cursed with too much information.

Call me old fashion? Maybe try hiking or camping and leaving, God forbid, your smart phone at home. There’s a world waiting for you to discover, one I grew up in, a world of be here now without interruption from things you can’t change anyway.  There’s a world of freedom waiting for you but for one thing: you can’t put that smart phone down.

If the world today were to sculpt a representative statue of Mankind it wouldn’t be, The Thinker.

No, it would be a person looking down at their smart phone or taking a, ‘Selfie.’

The interactions that sooo many studies show are healthy for us—the eye contact, the smiles, the greetings—are now lost to bent heads looking at smart phones…

No, I’m not old fashion: I’m right. Put your phone down for at least one day per week and see how many eyes look your way. The worlds’ presence will once again be yours to see, and it is amazing.

Franque23 dares you to do it…

Simply amazing.

 


My wife recently told  a news story on T.V. to “Go Fund Yourself.” It broke me out in fits of laughter….as my wife often does. She’s smart, a wit-full companion that keeps me thinkin’. Thing is, my first editor of everything you’ve ever read from me is also sharp, and more helpful than you know…. Barbara sent me this tonight,, and I thought in our time of strife it might do us all good to take a look at the,’Will  to Survive’. It’s in all of us, to fight for existence, and that we shall prevail…just look at the trees: they lead the way.

Enjoy, and thanks again to Barbara for the link.

Peace, Franque23

Trees have been around for about 370 million years, and as you can see from these incredible pictures, there’s a good reason why they’ve survived for so long.  Whether they’re growing in the middle of gale-force winds, on the tops of rocky platforms, inside concrete tunnels, or even growing out of each other, trees know how to survive in places that few living organisms can, which explains why the planet is host to around 3 trillion adult trees that cover an estimated 30% of the earth’s land.  Considering that plants produce the vast majority of the oxygen that we breathe, we should all think ourselves very fortunate that trees are as resilient as they are.  We wouldn’t even be here if they weren’t.

#1  A Place Of Enchantment
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#2  This Palm Tree Fell Over And Curved Right Back Up
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#3  This Tree Fell Over And Grew 4 More Trees Out Of Itself
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#4  The Only Tree That Survived The Tsunami In Japan Between 70,000 Trees. Now Protected And Restored.
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#5  Tree Of Life – Olympic National Park, Washington
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#6   A Tree’s Root Spill Over The Sidewalk
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#7   Nature FTW
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#8   A Tree Growing Through Speed Limit Sign
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#9  This Tree That Refuses To Die
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#10  This Tree Still Has Its Leaves Because Of The Light Shining On It
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#11  Life Finds A Way
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#12  Tree Roots Extend Across A Gap To The Mainland For Nutrients
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#13  Life Finds A Way
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#14  Ta Promh Temple In Cambodia
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#15  Striving
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#16  Someone Hung His Skates On A Small Tree When He Was Younger. He Forgot He Had Left Them There And Found Them Years Later

#17  A Tree Growing On Another Tree
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#18 This Tree Is Growing Out Of Another Tree
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#19 This Tree Grew Out Of The Stump Of A Dead Tree And Then The Stump Rotted Away
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#20 A Tree Grows From Third Floor Window
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#21 Life Finds A Way
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#22 I Spent Ages Staring At This Tree Before Taking This Pic. I Hope You Find It As Fascinating As I Did
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#23 This Floating Island That Grew At The End Of A Partially Sunken Tree
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#24 This Wooden Chair My Parents Bought Started Sprouting Leaves
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#25 The Old Piano Tree
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#27 One Tree On My Street Refused To Accept Winter
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#28 My Sister’s Tree Is Eating Her Fence
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#29 This Tree Growing Through A Fence
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#30 Life,Uh… Finds A Way
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This is the winning 2020 presidential ticket. In fact, the more Republicans and right of center groups claim this idea is preposterous, the more Left leaning voters should realize it’s true!

Trump’s election set precedent that a person not directly experienced with holding office can be elected President. The 2018 mid-terms have more than shown voters are agreeable to female candidates, and even female, Black candidates in the South!! Yikes! I wouldn’t have thought this to be the case, but it is. The 2018 mid-term election has proven the American electorate is ready for women of any faith or color. Now is the time for Michelle Obama.

We all know President Obama brought America out of the brink of collapse, along with perhaps saving the entire world economy, so who better to associate with how to truly Make America the shining beacon of hope and posterity it once was under President Obama?  Michele Obama, that’s who can lead the charge in 2020. Michele is the one who can break through that invisible male ceiling the presidency of the U.S. still supports; she is the one who can unite and bring out so many difference Democratic voters.

And what of Bernie Sanders as V.P. on the ticket with Michelle Obama for 2020? This is a slam dunk yes! Bernie calls for a health plan most Americans have come to favor; Bernie calls for living wages and real tax cuts American workers deserve. Any notion that Bernie’s too old, or too socialist, or that, ‘Michelle won’t run,’ is just bull crap being thrown from the Right, a group who literally trembles in fear of this Democratic ticket.

Get Michelle and Bernie on the ticket and America wins.

Elect Michelle and Bernie and Education gets a huge increase in spending; America’s humanitarian efforts resume throughout the world; a living wage comes to fruition; real infrastructure rebuilding programs commence; renewable energy takes off in America and sparks a mass up-swing in employment and prosperity; health care becomes part of our society and not a leech upon on government and our worker’s backs. These are all things American’s want by massive majority numbers.

Get rid of illegal gerrymandering across America and the new world dawns through America’s growth and undeniable will to succeed.

Listen up. Cast fear aside and get Michelle and Bernie on the same ticket for 2020.

Let’s cast aside the party that has once again deregulated banks putting the U.S. in danger of another ,’bubble burst, ‘ as we had Under Bush . Jr. Let’s dump the party that has striped America of much-needed environmental controls, who now drills in our National Parks threatening our famous, Heritage sites. We can beat back Republican corruption and the radical hate groups this party embraces; we can end the hate mongering President Trump seems so happy to spew on a nearly daily basis. We can end the seemingly endless stream of lies now being forced upon the American people from this current Republican administration.

It’s a new day, baby. Democrats! Let’s bring it home.

Franque23

 


I’ve always loved seeing movie footage of the past. It makes this short film below that more special in that I was born and raised just outside of The Big Apple and considered it my stompin’ grounds during my High School days.

More, I’ve had a couple of odd coincidencedinks in life that revolve around my early years spent in New York City. I’d often spent time in  New York City, The Village,  roaming the walk down shops after munching on a seventy-five cent pizza slice. By far, the Leather shops were my favorite to visit. I was immediately attracted to the smell of finished leather goods, their shine, polished to deep warm browns or beige and tan colors.  One shop owner in particular was a bit more out going than most, and that was wrapped by a quick sense of humor all tied together by tremendous wit. His name was, Byan. He stood tall with penetrating dark eyes that glowed above the flash of  his smile. Our conversations were never long but they played in my head usually throughout the following days. Mysterious, that was the word for this fellow.

Fast forward eight or so years and I’m attending a bluegrass festival in Hog Town Creek, just outside Gainesville, Florida. I was singing lead for an agent at that time, traveling to gigs with one of the three bands he managed. I’m thinking my pay was about a flat 75 dollars per week. The music drew me to the festival and there the smell of leather goods at a nearby booth attracted my attention. Sure enough, it was, Byan, running a leather stand. It turned out his parents owned a ranch nearby and he’d left NYC to return to his family’s home. He wanted to learn how to play guitar and I was intrigued with leather work… We traded skills and I ended up being a leather worker running three shops for the next 14 years.

Of course, there’s more. I got to know my wife of 38 years while  learning the leather trade from, Byan. We made items for the local leather shops in Gainesville—there were about four of them in town. I often worked on sewing leather hats of all shapes and sizes. A few years later found my wife and I working into all hours of the night sewing wallets and visors as we started our first leather business. It was years later when all of this came to circle.

Thirty years later, my wife and I visited Denton, England, along with her Brother and his wife. It was there that my wife’s family were once hatters. It turns out they started in Denton and finally made it to New York City and I suspect made ,’a killing,’ as they say in retail. Why? Well just look at what everyone is wearing in the film below. Wow. The story of my wife’s ,’Hatters,’ family is also amazing, but that’s for another time.

Enjoy this glimpse into another era; a time gone by.

One more thing: the air seems much more polluted in this film than it appears to be in New York City now. Maybe too much,’Clean,’ coal back then?

Franque23


I’m thinking eating an apple and then a banana could make a person fart? This could be trouble. I’m working the public service desk for the nest 5 hours and I just consumed both! If the answer to my first important question of the day is,’Yes,’ I can only hope some service dogs come in. The good news? I’ll be the first to find out the validity of the premise so I can quickly leave my area in search of a book or some other task.

Question two for today: Has our Supreme Court always been strictly a partisan affair and corrupted by outside interests? I didn’t believe so as a child, but , then again, I also believed in Santa Clause.

My take of the Kavanaugh selection? The vote was 48 NO to 50 YES for confirmation. This means there were 48 correct votes and 50 wrong—that’s about it. For liberals, the future for Supreme Court decisions looks bleak; that the Supreme Court no longer appears to have a swing voter might wreak havoc as decisions come down during the years ahead.

Third question: Why is the suffix, ‘Jerry or Gerry,’ such a derogation? We have the, ‘Jerry’s’ (the German soldiers during world War 11) and, Gerrymandering, (Pretty much the sole corrupt political device that secured the election for many candidates throughout our country.) If something has been Jerry-rigged it won’t work for long—we all know that. But did you know, “Jerry,’ is another name for Chamber Pot!?!?!OH I know, a chamber pot was well received when needed, but it still seems to be a bottom-of-the-barrel sorta thing.

So why does all this matter? My name is Gerald, often turned to, Gerry, by family and friends, so I’m a bit sensitive to having a name associated with, 1)the enemy, 2)corruption, 3)something that won’t be any good or, 4) a piss-pot and worse. This is why being called,’Franque,’ by friends on athletic teams in High School was such a relief!

Fourth question: Since 1996, Medical Cannabis sales tax collection in states that have deemed the drug legal for medical use has totaled over, One billion, two hundred eighty-five thousand dollars. These are the medical sales. Imagine if the illegal usage sales and the tax charged were added to this figure? Why in any Capitalist’s, rational head would it seem good to not legalize Pot?* Folks—we have a bunch of seeds and stems running our DOJ (Department of Justice). (Sessions is a jerk).

Fifth question: Why do so many men seem to hate women? Last time I looked, read or have been told, every man on the planet came by way of a woman. Or, is this alternative fact?

So many men lust for the same-sex they hate, demean, exclude from human rights that our world seems a whirling dervish of septic brain rot. For now, unfortunately, this is the good news. The over-all history of men’s atrocities toward women makes our current societal condemnation of women an improvement of epic proportions. I’ve always had a,’soft-spot,'(meaning I care?) for the plight of the Native American’s and for all indigenous people. Thing is, take any total number of any single group who has been wronged in history and put that figure against the number of over one-half of the world’s population throughout history—that would be female—and imagine which number is larger. See? Women make up the largest group number of people tortured, used, abused, slaughtered and misaligned in the history of Mankind. And I do wonder about the term, ‘Mankind.’ Divide the word, Mankind,(Man—kind) and see that each half of the term is kinda off.

Sixth question: Why are so few patrons coming to the service desk? Hmmm. And no, that was a burp-I swear.

Franque23 loves bananas and apples.

 

*https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewdepietro/2018/05/04/how-much-money-states-make-cannabis-sales/#28e12c8df181

 

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