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(Click the pic to enlarge.)

A thread on Face book today got this going. The points went back and forth about whether or not American’s should be off work on Election day. Would this help bring out voters? Is it necessary to close businesses when we have early voting or mail-in with even prepaid postage in some states?

You know what? Screw work on election day.

Either call-in on Election Day, take the day off or have it off as a National Holiday. It doesn’t matter if being off on Election Day would increase voting tun-out.  We have to stop the madness in America; we have to throw off this, ‘work until you drop,’ yoke American Big business has used to harness American workers.

American companies and big business have come to value profit more than life, and it’s wrong.

American’s should be off on Election Day–it shows and teaches respect for the process; the same for President’s Day. Businesses should close and Americans should use President’s Day to remember the leaders that have helped shape our country and World. Someone once said that actions speak louder than words. It’s true, our children watch what we do at least as much as they listen to what we say. Look both ways; it’s bed time; eat your veggies: how’s all that jabbering working for you as a parent? No, leaders, parents, teachers, workers and politicians should show the way, walk the walk as well as talk the talk. We all need to stop making work the point.

The work ethic in America is bonkers, and we should keep all our Holidays and add Election Day and President’s day to them. We should also throw in four, ‘ the weather is too nice to work,’ days to boot. Farmer’s knew their horses needed to rest; American workers need a rest, too.

What’s nuts about having election Day off? Here’s what’s nuts: we used to not have just President’s Day off when I was young, but Jefferson’s, Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays off! It’s true! These three days used to be school holidays and many businesses closed as well. More, every business, but for a very few, closed EVERY Sunday! That’s right—just about no one worked on any Sunday—not ever.

The sky will not fall if America stops the madness and gives workers more time off during each work year.

The workers will drop if we don’t give them more rest, not the sky.

Think! Our American society used to give workers more days off than it does now and what happened? America boomed; that’s what happened. American workers were happier, they were better educated and they enjoyed our society.

Sixty years of decreased earnings (when adjusted for inflation), multitasking nightmares, skinnier staffs with additional work to do, the loss of pensions and less time off has reduced American workers to what we are now: an over worked under paid discontented work force.

The rulers, owners and greedy big businesses have been flushing American workers down the toilet for over sixty years now and it needs to stop.

Let’s turn things and us around.

Let’s take Election Day off so we can elect the right people to office. It’s often said that change comes slowly. You know what? Maybe not.  Maybe change is right around the corner; maybe the sun will come up on America. Maybe American voters can stop the madness.

I hope so.

Franque23

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We have a great tradition of doing puppet shows here in the Alachua County Library district’s  downtown Headquarter’s Branch-In one way or another, the whole crew of the youth services department gets involved, even if this is  to man the desks extra hours while the puppeteers practice or perform.*

We’d performed an adaption I wrote of The Wide-Mouth Frog about four years ago. This time, when Gail Carr heard we were doing the show again, she came running up to me with the music we’d used before-she’d saved it all this time!

Gail's eyes dazzle with the same excitement we all feel about the puppet shows.

Gail’s eyes dazzle with the same excitement we all feel about the puppet shows.

We had to start with a publicity sign and hand bills to pass out.

We put the sign up about two weeks before show date

We put the sign up about two weeks before show date, but we’d thought about how to do the show for more than 3 months-selecting parts and thinking about the humorous aspects of the puppet show.

We place the story in a Floridian swamp–and talk up as many environmental issues as possible without being too heavy handed.

I decided to build a set that places the frog under mushrooms this time-that means I have to build those gigantic shrooms.

How to build a 3-D mushroom? That was my question!

How to build a 3-D mushroom? That was my question!

I started with two different shapes, thinking I might stuff something on this back piece and cover it with the right paper….turned out, I didn’t need any stuffing.

Iwanted the mushrooms to have gills,,,and think I may put interior lighting inside the shrooms for a neat look--though not sure I'll get to this.

I wanted the mushrooms to have gills,,,and think I may put interior lighting inside the shrooms for a neat look–though not sure I’ll get to this. I stapled the gills to the back piece, and bent it up and out.

Here’s a shot of this from the other side to help show the structure technique.

Now the back piece and gills of shroom are ready for the outer layer that will be stapled to the inside tabs as shown.

Now the back piece and gills of shroom are ready for the outer layer that will be stapled to the inside tabs as shown.

(above)I’m using x-actos to cut a stiff mylar and then bending the paper so they form the gills I want. My fingers point to the tabs I’ll need in order to staple the covering to the gill part of the interior.

It took some planning to figure how much material I'd need to bend around the mushroom frame.

It took some planning to figure how much material I’d need to bend around the mushroom frame.

I’m using a corrugated,  tan colored roll of paper. I deliberately stepped on this board for one of the shrooms, to give that one a different texture/look. Then came the stapling- I had to staple the tabs once to the top paper as it came around the bend, and then again to get those staples as close as possible to the frame and end up with the look I wanted.

a two step process-first, a loose fight, then a tighter stapling and closer cutting to shape the mushroom

a two step process-first, a loose fit, then a tighter stapling and closer cutting to shape the mushroom

Not too bad so far...

Not too bad so far…

The stems will  be made out of corrugated white paper…the mushrooms will stand about six to seven feet, one on either side of the puppet show. And there will be trees……that may be turned around by hand. One side of each tree will show an arching branch full of leaves and hanging Spanish moss but, when turned, the back side of those branches will come together as a rainbow —you’ll get the idea once they are done.  A great intern, Grace, helps make the rainbow, and stands next to the guts of the trees –

Grace helped us before several years ago....it's great ot have her back! Menawhile, the puppet stage that will be transformed into a swamp is in the background.

Grace helped us before several years ago….it’s great to have her back! Meanwhile, the puppet stage that will be transformed into a swamp is in the background.

I got center pieces of carpet rolls from a local carpet store, hack-sawed them in half, cut out boxes and taped them together for a stable up-right.

The mushrooms wait on my desk for their stems....

The mushrooms wait on my desk for their stems….

Some say I must have been eating mushrooms to come up with this sorta stuff-but I love it! And I can’t wait to see my supervisor, Tina, play the part of the Wide-Mouth Frog….she wears so many hats! Odette, our other puppeteer for the show, has a million voices! Plus, when I showed her a box I hoped to turn into an ambulance, she did a 1000 times better job of that task than I’d ever dreamed possible.

Usually, it is common for puppet shows to feature small, intricate stage props the puppets can use. Thinking big can work, too. We like to bring the show to the people, and often do outtakes during the Puppet show that present full size characters who represent the puppets in person. It’s an interesting twist.

The stage is starting to come together…

Thing is, we still needed to build much more for the set,,,I worked, and many others helped. Here’s a good shot of the trees in production. One side of overhanging limbs will be of wood and leaves, but when they are turned around, those hanging branches will form a rainbow…

the branches start- one picture of each side

the branches start- one picture of each side

Volunteers help us build the trees.....the tree frames stand behind the branches/rainbow.

Volunteers help us build the trees…..the tree frames stand behind the branches/rainbow.

Finally, after about four hours of putting prop  pieces in place, the stage is set. (The puppet stage is in between the shrooms, and the people appeared throughout the show by walking out in front of the ambulance.  That truck we drove out as two medics who wore frog hats–the wide mouth frog had a frog stuck in her throat….

It took a drill, hammer and counter sinks to attach the tree limbs that doubled as a rainbow....

( Click on the picture for a bigger, better view.)It took a drill, hammer and counter sinks to attach the tree limbs that doubled as a rainbow….The tinsel blew like rain in the rain forest once the AC was turned on.

The show was more than great fun!  Here’s to great times in Libraries.

Ribbit, ribbit.

See you!

Franque23

*The other blog about the show-getting ready to perform.https://franque23.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/puppet-show-pazazzz/

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

(If you happen to find an advertisement at the bottom of this post please know that this ad has nothing to do with me but it is only WordPress.com’s random selection to help fund their world-wide site.)Franque23.

 

It’s tough. We plow through week after week, day after day, showing up in a building full of fantastic books, stuffed full of computers, cds and dvd’s. Program after program, for preschool on up to adult, on and on we schedule, host, perform, plan, scheme and organized. Welcome to my world at the Alachua County Library District.  How do any of us survive?

One of my hardest tasks is keeping track of my working group. One day I’ve a perfectly normal(almost) person working by my side, the next day they’ve morphed into a pumpkin, cat, something red, a witch or worse. Who could put up with that? Here I am , forced to leave my home and  enter  a world of stories, costumes, smiles, set design and play productions and so much more…

Just today I ran into a typical work drag of a day.

When will the madness stop!

When will the madness stop!

All wanted line-up.

All wanted line-up.

And all because we hope everyone will…….

Geraldbulletinboard

Admittedly, some days here at the Library are just red letter days-

The real Red Team winners......

The real Red Team winners……

Even Pirate day turns into a sweat shop of a day….

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But this work week is all about Halloweenie…here and at home…My Grand kids are up for it!!!!”Not more candy!!!” They yell!


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Oh, and here’s another spooky thought. Book two of Avatar Magic, The Code of Avatar Magic,  is coming out soon on Kindle…Check out the cover

Got a spider web thingy going on, right?

Got a spider web thingy going on, right?(Cover design by Daniel Horack)

And from a year past

 See? It never ends here at the Library!

See? It never ends here at the Library!

Cheers and screams from our Library to you this Halloween.

You got a problem with that?

You got a problem with that?

Okay-here’s a free picture-

Sweat dreams!

Sweat dreams!

OH- I gotta go. there’s a patron coming up to the desk……

Wonder what this person wants?

Wonder what this person wants?

Franque23,,, whaaahahahahahhaaaaa…….

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