around the frame feb 2011 – our experiences

Dear Francatonia,

Browsing around on the Newgrange web site, I learned that the Neolithic place is considered to be the birthplace of visual arts in Ireland. As I gazed at the photos, I was enchanted by the swirls and repetitive patterns I saw carved into the rocks.

In Malibu, I visited the Getty Villa which is a reproduction of a wealthy Pompeian’s dwelling. It was crammed with treasures from ancient Greece and Rome — the swirling patterns on those objects were mesmerizing. My reaction to these designs is purely visceral. I feel my self reaching out and connecting with humanoids all down the ages.

There is something so comforting in a repeated pattern — must be that fundamental longing for order.



Liz/Moascar (Jan.’11) tells about her recent California visit. “My visit with my older son was very mellow. We got along very well. Our meals weren’t fraught with tension as they have been in times past.”


Dear Frances,

In your last letter you said, you don’t adjust easily to changes in your life. I have problems if my routines are altered, too. Does the need for order have something to do with being a child of an alcoholic?

 I don’t have much control these days. “Wait” is a hard answer to hear, but I hear it from my husband a lot. He drives for me, I wait for him.

  I feel happier now I am seeing a counselor again. You and she observe I have gotten myself into a pickle legally as well as emotionally. I am working on both situations

 I left my husband three other times. Every time I went back. I didn’t want to raise the girls alone. I needed financial support. I am trying to think what was different this time I came back. Maybe sex.

In the beginning I was a very shy, very naive young lady. I knew nothing about life. My husband taught me about sex. That’s something my mother would not discuss. She said, “Proper young ladies do not discuss such things.” Sex became like a drug — a high. It was a way my husband con-trolled me.

But, we haven’t even slept in the same room for over five years. We share nothing — no hobbies, no interests. What is different this time is he doesn’t treat me like he cares anymore. I don’t even think about sex these days.

Thanks for listening and for sending me a page from the book review magazine. I am always looking for new titles.

Love and Prayers,

God bless you,


LindaSue (Jan.’11) adds, “Mother said other things, too: ‘Don’t ask questions.’, ‘Don’t raise your voice.’ and ‘Get along. You don’t want to be an old maid!’”


Dear Frances,

Glad you wrote … I was thinking of you!

I agree that dreams can be both helpful, interesting and often very odd. I have lots of weird dreams, honestly. Some are pretty scary, but I think they point out that I am in some way losing my identity.

I had this dream recently where I was lost in the big city and could not get home. This dream repeats in other ways when things are bothering me. It goes on and on until I wake up. I keep getting side- tracked in the dreams by hills, big water waves, and not being able to find my way in the dark streets. Also, other people in the dreams do not help me, instead, give me wrong directions. I lose my car, clothes, everything! This could be an abandonment thing, I don’t know. Now in the last week I have not slept well and never know why.

You asked if I was doing any singing yet. No … probably should be eventually, it always calmed me.

Hee…hee… hee!


Barbara Jean (Jan.11) adds, I get really spiritually dry, too. Have talked to like-minded people about this. I even get emotional ‘hangovers’ that last for days. Does this ever happen to you?”


Hi Frances,

I’ve been enjoying December’s Ninepatch. It’s like sitting down in a coffee shop with an old friend to catch up. I liked the stories about dreams. I also enjoyed hearing from Sherryl and Wallace and their ideas on dreams.

I think everyone I’ve ever known has had at least one dream that was deeply meaningful and transformative. Whether it was a visit from a loved one or going face to face with a lifelong fear — we’ve all gotten those “a ha” moments from dreams.

It seems your dream muse inspired you to write “The Boathouse.” Great story — and you added so much vivid description that I could feel the boat launch. I like that you enjoyed the speed of the boat and the wind in your hair.

It would be tempting to say that your dream gave you some insight about your life. Perhaps it was simply a celebration of feeling free.

Thank you for sending me a Christmas greeting, new years prayer and directions for blessing one’s house.

Take Care,


KarenLouise (Dec.’10) says, “I put the last of my out of town relatives on a plane last week. Whew.”


Dear Frances,

I had a strange dream last night. I saw my mother walking up my driveway pulling a child’s red wagon. It was filled with something but I couldn’t tell what. It was a cold day and she was wearing red pants, a light blue all-weather jacket and a white turban. I had a very clear vision of her. Often in my dreams, I either can’t tell who the person is, or I can’t remember when I awake.

I wondered what it meant, if anything. I looked in my dream dictionary about the colors red, white and blue. Each color has several definitions and I chose the one most likely, I hope. Blue can mean the inner voice or higher self; red can mean trouble or misunderstanding; white can mean it often corresponds to the presence of spirit. I’m thinking it may mean peace between us. Mother was bringing something in the red wagon. Red can also mean associated with energy or power. It also means life force.

Bless you, My Friend,


June (Nov.’10) adds, “I like to think Mother is trying to bring peace between us from her side of the veil. Maybe she finally understands the pain she caused me.”


Dear Frances,

In a recent e-mail you mentioned that I seem to have a lot of energy. Not always. At times, like when I came home from work today, I told Uncle Jerry, I needed to take a nap for one hour. I was refreshed afterward but later on took another nap!

Throughout my growing up years, I was disciplined to be strong. As a child, I was always told because of my exceptional intelligence and ability, I had to spend hours by myself.

I carried this habit into my adulthood. I like to spend a great deal of time by myself in the world of incredible imagination.

I also need energy to work, cook, care for him, write and still be alone without falling asleep. If I can’t carry on, Uncle Jerry will be living in a horrible facility and he doesn’t deserve that.

All the best and God Speed.

Warm wishes,


Lotte DeRoy (Nov.’10) adds, “I am trying to finish my true life story which takes a lot out of me, emotionally. Every family conceals a lot of secrets. Now is the time to shed light on my family’s dark secrets.”


Hello Frances!

Thanks for your good letter and Ninepatch. Your comments on your seasonal new year — the winter solstice– struck a chord with me. I have always observed the four changes of the seasons, often it’s seeing sunrise at the beach or in a park or solitary walk.

Winter solstice came to me this year like a brick. My brother died in November. My wife fell in December — no broken bones but she still is not driving. Then Maddie, our nine-year-old Wire Fox Terrier developed a “corneal ulcer” in her left eye. She had surgery and a difficult recovery.

I can blame this for a stall in my writing as my wife is not driving. I have the vet trips, the grocery shopping, taking her to the hair salon plus all the cooking and dishwashing!

Being a house-husband gets old fast.

Best wishes,


Don (Nov.’10) adds, “Psychologists have a term for the seasonal blues many people have this time of year: SAD — seasonal affective disorder. It relates to the shorter days.”


The cost of illusion

is reality.


James (Jan.’11) adds, “Truth cannot pretend.”

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