around the frame jan 2010 – our experiences

Dear Frances,

        Thanks for your letter.  It’s a grey cloudy day with rain now and then.  I am having a day off work.

        I just found out an old friend died — last year.  She was my best friend in high school and Maid of Honor at our wedding. Over the years, we’d drifted apart. Maybe it’s the weather, but I feel sad knowing she’s gone.

         I thought about your comment that maybe I am like my dad in ways I look at life. You are right.  My dad was proud to work and support us. Sometimes he worked two or three jobs to keep us going, but he didn’t complain.

        I am proud to have a job, but just getting tired of carrying the burden alone.  I remember my husband saying, “No wife of mine will ever have to work!” Now he sleeps half the time and is no help with anything. What happened?

        I think I am like my mom, too. (I used to be anyway.) Mom cried a lot. The difference is, I decided crying does no good. I am trying to change myself in-stead. The way to do that is taking baby-steps in terms of what I do with my free time and how I think about things. In my counseling group, we talk about that all the time. It’s just not that easy. 

Love and prayers,



LindaSue (Nov.-Dec. ’09) adds, “At least I have my own room where I can shut out my kids, grandkids, husband, TV and just do anything I want — even be messy!”



Dear Frances,

This morning I was thinking that maybe once my daughter moves out this weekend I can start getting back to doing the things I love. No, I’m not thrilled about her leaving but I have to find some good in it and maybe getting time to work on the web site and some of my other hobbies will be one of them.

For today, though, I do have to get moving. I’ve been trying all week to get hold of my brother because a mutual relative died.  I’ve also got to get hold of my son who’s apparently in deep financial doo-doo and see if there’s anything I can help with there. Then, it’s groceries and a run to work — and quickly back here to help my daughter pack and try to spend time with the baby before they go.

The part that’s getting to me right now, is knowing I’ll be coming home from work and our baby girl won’t be here to play with and rock to sleep.

They’ll only be in the next town over. I am going to be so worried when I don’t know who’s baby-sitting and all.

Sorry! I didn’t mean to get rambling. Hope all’s well with you and JK my dear.




            LynnTROR (Nov.-Dec.’09) adds, “Sometimes it’s hard to trust that things happen for a reason and to set aside my ego that makes me want to cling to the people I love … but I’m trying and hoping that letting go will turn out to be the right thing to do in the long run. I just wish it didn’t have to be so hard.”




I drove my new (used) RV alone to Texas this winter and left October 15th — earlier than expected since it was cooling fast in Michigan. I planned a five-day trip and had all my stops selected and reserved.  Every thing went well, giving me confidence for the rest of my travel.

It rained when I first arrived, but the next day welcomed me with a beautiful blue sky and sunshine. I just needed a light sweater.

 One of my daughters lives in Arlington just south of Dallas/ Fort Worth.  She has five children ages twelve through seven and she works full time. She was able to take time off starting October 20th and wanted me to be there.  

We spent some wonderful mom and daughter days, shop-ping and having lunch.  We also went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens during Japanese Festival (the weather was soft and wonderful). The Japanese gardens were beautiful, restful and calming. We watched a demonstration of martial arts.  We also saw dances by Japanese ladies young and elder.

My grandchildren all go to school full time and are good kids. I stayed a bit longer than planned so I could go to school and see one of the grandchildren perform in a school presentation.  

It was great visiting with my Texan daughter and family. 

Love to you,



Diana (Sept.’09) adds, “Thank God, He/She is with my daughter, guiding her, giving her strength, prospering her life and protecting the children.”



 Dear Frances,

I’ve enjoyed your e-mails, notes and postage stamps on Ninepatch mailings and I still enjoy reading the newsletter itself.  Your “Bus Ride” series has kept me looking forward to each new issue, and I am happy that you are working on taking that tale to the next level as a book.

I have thought often of a story I sent you more than a year ago. It was too long for one issue and I also had some privacy concerns.  I started reworking it last January, but the project kept getting pushed back. 

These days, I never seem to catch up on more immediate projects, and I distract myself with fun things like hanging out with friends.  Also, I have started pursuing an international post-card exchange with stamp collectors who have posted their address on blogs or given them to me via the Internet.  So far, I have made trades with individuals in Finland, India, Malaysia and Thailand.

I have not been writing much chatty e-mail to you or anyone for a long time.

        Love and hugs,



Carol (Oct.’09) adds, “I guess I am slowing down. For sure I am focusing on more than writing.”



Ya’ know Frances…

Your newsletter is always chucked full of interesting anecdotes.  I’m done traveling now. Just returned from a bowling tournament near Lancaster, PA. I placed in the top ten of my day’s squad so think I might actually come into a check … perhaps only $7.98 but it’s the meaning that counts!

My fiancé and I are in what I am calling “negotiations.” We are talking about the future — where we’ll live and such. We are pretty much taking it one day at a time. (How else can you do it, right?)

I think we are going to expand my “earth home.” At first, I thought the idea rather grandiose, but we are proceeding and looking for a local architect. Since my house is built into the side of a hill, it’ll be complicated to say the least. I am concerned about new work hurting the integrity of the earth home. My hubby-to be says he already envisions the heating of the new room and water separate from the existing house — and geo-thermal!  He is very handy with this sort of thing which assures me it will be done right and well.

            I hope this finds you and yours well. Keep in touch!



CaT (Oct.’09) adds, “We broke a hundred- year record here! SNOW on October fifteenth. I recall as a child in the Pocono region of Pennsylvania, I trick-or-treated in the snow and also hunted Easter egg in the snow. But, early snowy weather vanished the last ten years or so, In fact, we have had one brown Christmas after another. Hopefully the ‘real’ weather of this region is returning.” 



Dear Frances,

            Uncle Jerry and I wish you and fellow readers a Happy New Year!

My apologies for not writing. Since I am filling in for a teacher on medical leave, I am working full time. It is hard on Uncle Jerry and me. During breaks, I run home to prepare breakfast and lunch for Uncle Jerry. I get home for the day around 6.30 pm, cook dinner and do chores around the house.

No time for writing.

We are not going away over the holiday, but that’s not unusual. Normally we stay home a lot and rest. I am really tired and hope the other teacher comes back soon.

I long for my old life. Extra money is not everything. I went through this kind of upheaval once before. It messed up my family and my health (thyroid cancer). I promised myself, Never again.

Warmest regards,  

 Lotte (and Uncle Jerry)


Lotte (Oct.’09) adds, “As a treat for Christmas, Uncle Jerry and I went to see Christmas Spectacular at  Radio City Music Hall.  He enjoyed it and it was also nice to be away from school.”



The brain is printed with

indelible ink.


                        James (Nov.-Dec.’09) adds, “Like once-folded  paper, it will not lose its crease.”

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