Ninepatch is the monthly publication of a non-profit organization by the same name. In the pages of this Ninepatch magazine, women – and the men who support them – share their spiritual journeys and life experiences through letters, essays, poetry, book reviews and more. Ninepatch offers a forum where contributors can be heard and enjoy an atmosphere of sharing and acceptance. Such sharing is vital in helping everyone find their place in an eternal spiritual circle where all know and are known.

Betsy’s open door




Last year I sent the last of my laughable valentines that featured silly riddles.  This year I shopped CVS, Walgreens, Publix and Walmart for children’s cards and adult “funnies.” The only one that brought a smile was a “knock-knock.”

Knock , knock!

Who’s there?

Mega-truck!   (VROOM-VROOM!)

Mega-truck, who?

They don’t mega-truck big enough to hold my Valentine’s Day wishes for you!

Beginning in 1968, I brought valentines for my students in grade 1-3.  Shopping carefully, I bought ones with words or small verses the kids could read.   At one time, children’s Valentine’s Day cards featured “fun” verbiage.  One was riddles.

Q: What do you call two birds in love?

A: Tweet-hearts!

Such funny phrases encouraged reading a brought smiles.  Sometimes the younger boys and girls had to memorize their cards, but later that day, students could also carry them home and “read” them to brothers, sisters, friends and parents.

Even my later high school students produced happy groans when I presented corny valentine jokes.

Q: What do you did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus on

Valentine’s Day?

A: I want to hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand,

hand, hand!

Of course, preposterous “elephant jokes” also had their Valentine’s Day appearance:

“SAL: How can you tell and elephant from a valentine card?

AL:  I don’t know!

SAL: Then don’t get a job with the post office!”

From Tomie de Pola’s Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day

From Tomie de Pola’s Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day


Happy Valentine’s Day!,

Frances Fritzie

Frances Fritzie



Ninepatch Birthdays


Palma 11

Frances 20



Ninepatch is updating our web site and looking for additional writers. We want weekly bloggers, monthly comments and occasional small pieces. We are even thinking about short stories!


Contact Editor, Frances.


Ninepatch is a non-profit. Every person who works for us– including Frances—is a volunteer. No one is paid. However, we do have business expenses. Paper, ink, software, labels, and Internet connections, are a few.

While e- readers see color, our paper readers seldom do. It’s too expensive. Yet, due to mailing costs and postage, they bear the brunt of “donation-for-service.” (Financially speaking, E- readers ride their coat-tails.)

If you enjoy reading our magazine and have not already made a donation for 2016, kindly consider making one. $5 is not too small.

We have a Paypal account, or you can send a check to our mailing address:

1014 NW 52nd Ter.

Gainesville, Fl. 32605

Thanks to those of you who support our outreach though coin-of-the-realm, service and prayers. Special thanks to our Board of Directors: Christa and Georgene, our membership coordinator: Dottie, our proofreaders: June and James and the sticky note writers: Leigh, James and Georgene. We appreciate their service.

Of course, you who contribute letters, stories, poems and drawings are the lifeblood of the newsletter and we are especially thankful for you!

Those who give in any way know the greatest return. Hence the old saying, “You reap what you sow.”

Editor, Frances


black and white sketch of tulips