around the frame nov 2010 – our experiences


I enjoyed your several paragraphs of August e- “Glimpse.” You included a

few lines that struck you from A Measure of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling, the book you were reading. A line that struck you was, “…but dreams are necessary for living at times.”

Personally, I believe that dreams (day and night time) are essential for living. If I were forced to choose between giving up a leg or arm and giving up my dreams… the dreams would win every time. Not that I have anything against my leg or arm; dreams have been a wonderful counterbalance to everyday life.

Wallace (Nov.-Dec.’09) adds, “I’d enjoy a discussion about dreams. Maybe someday we can swap notions about dreams.”


My dearest Fritzikins –

I can’t believe so much time has elapsed since I read October’s Ninepatch and I am just now getting back to you.

The e- “glimpse” you sent was a sensory delight. I “saw” those spirits in the golden beam you described. I love moments of light and nature that bring awe! I can hear the heavenly choir singing, “Ah, ah…” and rising on the last “ah!”

I have felt that same way when snorkeling along a coral reef. Sunbeams penetrate the water and little specks of coral eggs are visible in the rays. It reminds me of a scene in the movie, “Pan’s Labyrinth,” where a young girl walks inside a tree and is surrounded by whirling fairie motes.


Hope to see you soon.



Liz/Moascar (Oct.’10) adds, “In the early mid-October mornings, there was frost on the ground as I drove across the open expanse of North Florida countryside.”


Dear Frances,

I just this minute opened October’s Ninepatch. Inside was a perfect message on a sticky note from Georgene: “Take a vacation from control. Abandon yourself to your spiritual companions and let them lead the way.”

I read this on the eve of going on a retreat — the first I’ve done in years!

I’m in a really good place. Will read Ninepatch now, go on retreat tomorrow.

Love you,


Nancyann (Aug.’10) says, “We are leaving our summer place soon and doing the usual travel countdown tasks.”


Hi Frances!

I’m thinking you’re back in Florida now, safe and sound. I finally read this August ’10 9Patch.Your accident story was scary. I’m so glad you’re OK! Lots of love to you Dearest!

I was touched by Gail’s poems, “The Blacksmith of Reed City” and the next month’s “Blacksmith Rendezvous” –– and her comment explaining that the smithy had a girl-friend. It is challenging to go through the ups and downs of being drawn to men — but never finding that perfect balance of availability, desirability, and mutual interest!

Then add my list of preferable traits and it gets darn complicated and discouraging. It’s enough to make me just say to heck with it and run back home to my dog!

Ah well, I’ll give that one to time.

Take good care of yourself.


Sherryl (Apr.’10) adds, I had much insight, support, and fun at our August cut-and-paste. I will look forward to the next time — whenever it is!”



I enjoyed reading your October Ninepatch story about your visit to the McGruder cottage. It sounds like something you’ve been wanting to do for awhile.

I’ve signed up for a workshop/retreat put on by a group called, WOMAN WITHIN. It’s pretty intensive from what I’ve heard. We wear no makeup or jewelry and no talking Saturday or Sunday between the sessions. It is also anonymous. I’m a little nervous about this and took a lot of time with the paperwork.

I belong to a local group of this organization. We meet on Wednesdays. This week is our “fun night.” One of our members has a grape arbor in her back yard. At the gathering, we’re making one grape pie to share (new to me) and then each taking home enough grapes to make another.

Haven’t had lunch yet. Got up late. Better close.



Dottie (Oct.’10) says, “Here’s the Grape Pie recipe:

Slip skins from 4 cups (1 1/2 pounds) Concord grapes and set skins aside.

Bring pulp to boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Sieve

to remove seeds. Add skins to pulp.

Mix: 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 tsp. salt


1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

Mix all of this with the grape mixture. Pour into 9 inch unbaked pie shell;

Bake at 400 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup softened butter till crumbly. Sprinkle on top of pie and bake 15 minutes more or until slightly brown and bubbly .

I thought the pie was too sweet but we all have our own idea of sweet-enough.”


Happy Fall!

Nice to hear from another struggling spiritual seeker who’s trying to find answers but only discovering more questions.

My annual visit to family in Minnesota was good and bad. The day I arrived my brother was diagnosed with liver cancer, fairly advanced but typically slow growing.

On the bright side, we had relatives from five states present with five children — ages five and under — including two girls about three months. (They were the center of attention.) It was a good gathering considering my brother’s failing health.

My writing is sporadic due to other demands on my time and mood swings. My house and body are requiring more and more attention.

I press on! I count my blessings: am mobile, am able to pay the bills, have good friends and family.

Stay in touch!


Don (June‘10) adds, “As a writing motivator I have promised myself a writer’s conference when I have a readable draft of my book — hopefully next year.”



For a brief, magic moment, I was transported into fall when I read about your walk through Michigan’s crimson maples. Here, in Alabama, it seems very cool at only 80F. Refreshing after the hottest of summers! I’m afraid we may not have autumn this year. We are suffering from drought, so even though the trees are recovering from the exces-sive heat, the leaves are withering from dryness, not winter approaching.

I have been reading quite a bit, lately — mostly fiction. In this past month, I paged fantasy by Raymond Feist, one-man-against-the-world books by Lee Childs, all four of C.J. Cherryh’s Chanur science fiction books about space-faring cat people who rescue humans — again. I first read them to my girls when they were growing up.

I also enjoyed wonderful mysteries by Jan Burke, youth books by Tamora Pierce, and last night I finished Daniel Silva’s thriller, The Rembrandt Affair about an Israeli ex-spy who restores art. (Continued on the next page.)

For those who enjoy extremely well-crafted books, I highly recommend Jan Burke. She does a lot of research which enriches each  of her novels with an astonishing appearance of reality.

I think of you and my other Sebring, Florida friends often.

May you be blessed,


JW/Joy (June’09) adds, “I am sad because our dog died last week in her sleep. She was only ten. Sigh…”


Hi Frances,

Ninepatch to the rescue, again! I knew I was overdue for some relief, enjoyment from the grind, and October’s Ninepatch was a pleasant surprise. I have been sorting through things in my mental make-up that are being brought to my mind for reflection.

I read Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes, Jr. It pointed out that two-year-olds have addictions: I want it my way and I want it now! But to cash-in on life, I need to get rid of that type of thinking.

I am trying. For example, I had a fit when I found out at work there is a better rate of pay for the speech recognition reports. I had been offered a lesser rate, and ignorant of other rates, had accepted it. When I discovered the other pay scale, I felt cheated. I was fuming mad, like any 2-year-old. Then I realized how fruitless and pointless anger was, I checked myself. I got out The Handbook, realized my predicament, and it all resolved.

I said to myself, “OK, I cannot control what the corporation does. But, I will make up for less money by not buying something I was contemplating. THAT I could control.

The new attitude left the situation in my control where it

was supposed to be.

Thanks so much for Ninepatch!



Shari (Oct.’10) adds, “When I get this new approach learned well, I think my life will greatly improve.”


Dear Frances

Yes, we celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving on an October weekend, though the holiday is officially the second Monday in October.

My boyfriend and I used his cycle, Big Red and motored to Galeton, PA. We toured the national parks in the area and were lucky enough to have particularly good weather until Monday. We ran into some icy rain on the way home, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

I laughed because I was happier eating clam chowder in a chalet than turkey at home! I returned to find a note from my daughter saying, “You owe me Yorkshire pudding!”’ Guess I’ll have to cook anyway!

Luv, Lynn

Lynn/TROR (Oct.’10) says, “Our Thanksgiving’s a pretty big deal here, like the States really, although we don’t do the ‘Black Friday’ thing. Otherwise, it’s usually turkey, pumpkin pie and football!”


Dear Frances,

Thank you for listening. For book titles. For ideas.

I think about making some changes in my life but it’s not that easy. Everything takes time. Dad and I have a lot of health problems and neither of us can drive. That’s limiting.

For all my complaining about my husband, I am tied to him. I had two children with him. All these years, I guess I just didn’t want to give up. Why not? That’s a good question.

I was talking about that with some friends at work during our coffee break. I think it is time. I pray for strength and guidance every day. Dad and I keep busy and believe God will show us a way.

I just got insurance at my job. I am thinking about getting back into counseling somewhere closer to home, Maybe having someone to talk to will help me take the steps I feel I need.

Of course, then I start worrying. What if…? There is always fear of the unknown. Fear of change. I have been having dreams of falling and no one is there to catch me.

My faith in God, my dad, friends, reading and writing are keeping me going.

God bless you and keep you safe.

Love and Prayers,


  LindaSue (Oct.’10) adds, “I am reading a series written by an Amishman, Jerry S. Eicher. The two I’ve read are, Rebecca’s Return and Rebecca’s Promise.”


Good to hear from you, Frances!

Fall has been extremely busy here in New Mexico. The town is so small, I’m pretty much in charge of everything regarding the church except mass.

Recently, I had a big push to clean the waist-high brush out of our cemetery. We had a good response of workers and it is almost done. Once it is clear, I will sterilize the soil so that nothing will grow. We have no one to maintain the cemetery and

it looks nice now. I would like to keep it that way.

I take a couple of hours early in the morning to work quietly out at that plot getting out the smaller weeds. It is relaxing and reflective.

Like most spiritual work, I give to it and it gives back to me.

Patience (Sept.’09) adds, “It has been a rewarding project — will end with a mass there on Nov 3, the day after All Soul’s Day. It seems appropriate.


 Hi Frances,

At the end of summer, my husband and I traveled and I also had a bit of a family reunion. I visited a dear niece and her family in Maryland where my sister flew in to join us — a great reunion. The young children were fun: two and almost four.

I have always wanted to read the Russian classic, Anna Karenina. Since I received a Nook electronic book reader for my birthday, I just finished Tolstoy’s novel of love and adultery set in the 1900s. Eight hundred twenty-two pages! (WOW) And with the Nook, I read it in two weeks. I plan to watch it on TV’s Turner Classic Movies soon.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy, and wise!



Louise (July ‘10) adds, “We hope to be in Florida sometime during the winter, but plans are incomplete. We’ll have to see what happens.”



It’s best to respect the limits of time.


James (Oct.’10) adds, “Foretelling the future has little to do with the present.”

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