around the frame mar 2012 – our experiences


Ninepatch is always wel-come and always has some monthly surprises. I had never heard of a “Dream Notebook.”

I keep a clipboard with a legal pad in the bathroom to record nightly dreams, solutions to problems I have been thinking about, and plots for stories. So much going on in my dream world is lost if I just go back to sleep.

Happy new birth year!

Don (Feb. ’11) adds, “You wrote me saying you and JK play cribbage. My brother taught me years ago and I also played a lot in the Navy. Now I have regular partners and enjoy the card game two days a week.”


Hi Frances,

I enjoyed the Feb. ’12 Ninepatch, especially your story about dreams. You said that dreams are wild animals that can be enticed with gifts and gentle movements. I like that because it respects the dream as a guest, rather than as a resource to be exploited so that it can “solve problems.”

School is well under way this semester. Just as things were settling into a routine, life interrupted. My dad is having surgery. He has a growth that needs to be removed. While the operation is fairly routine, my dad is eighty-six….

Even though doctors are optimistic and dad takes really good care of himself, I’ve been anxious since his diagnosis. I looked for some friendly advice from one of the teachers in my department, but she was really swamped.

Instead, The Universe sent me another colleague whom I didn’t know well. The woman asked me how I was doing. She had a full class at the time, so I told her the forty-five-second version: my concern about what I needed (or would be able) to do as a daughter.

She understood completely and gave me the assurance that I needed to hear.




(Dec. ’11) adds, “I read a very interesting book this winter called, Animals of the Four Windows, by E. S. Gallegos. He’s a psychologist-turned-shaman who invites his patients to explore animal im-agery as a source of integration and healing.”


Dearest Francesign,

Loved the February ’12

Ninepatch – especially Lynan’s painting, “Irish Window.” It’s so peaceful and relaxing.

I identified with Simon’s story of crossing a log over a river. It reminded me of a trip to Florida’s O’ Leno State Park where friends and I crossed the alligator-infested river on a downed tree trunk. Glad to make it safely to the other side!

See you soon! <3




(Feb. ’12) adds, “Near my recent birthday, I spoke with my far-away son about a few favorite things: author Wayne Dyer, spiritual boosts and music. It was a great conversation. My other son, who lives nearby, invited me out to dinner. Then, due to a day off, I could wake up without the alarm clock. THAT is surely one of my favorite things!”


Dear Frances,

I just finished reading the February ’12 issue which reminded me I still want to participate in Kokology 2’s self discovery draw-a-boat exercise.

I also want to thank you for the used postage stamps you sent. I am a dedicated collector and they are very wonderful.

In January, I had a burst of creativity. I used postage stamps and quotations to create six pieces of art, each measuring four by six inches. The effort was to support an exhibition fund-raiser to benefit an art museum.

By the end of February, I should know if any of the work sold. Sell or not, I win. If the creations don’t sell, I get to add them to my stamp collection.

Blessings to you and JK,

Carol (Jan. ’12) adds, “Following is a photo I took from my yard. It shows a starling ‘singing’ in my Bradford Pear tree.

Carol’s Winter Starling
Carol’s Winter Starling


Hi Frances,

We have a lovely blanket of snow. Yesterday I got out my sled and took our Australian Shepherd mix, Maggie, into the back yard which has a long sloping hill. I had not been sledding for years. It was really

FUN. Maggie was wild in the snow. She was full of joy – leaping, rolling and running in big circles.

I have a sore back this morning, but it was worth the experience. In fact, I will do it again today! I wonder how many women of my tender age go sledding….

Love you and miss you,

Louise (Feb.’12) gives an update on her son, “He is doing well and is in the third week of rehab. One more to go. His getting this far is a miracle. (It gives me chills just writing those words.) I can hardly believe it.”


Hi Frances,

Last semester one of my classes was, “Liturgical Music in Celebration.” I got to reading some interesting Celtic (early Irish) stuff. I am reading a book called Sacred Time and the Search for Meaning written by one of my professors, Gary Eberle. I just finished a chapter about the medieval Celts carry-ing around something called, “Book of Hours.”

Apparently, they prayed from these books several times a day. The prof pointed out that we now look at Day Planners – no more praying. According to my reading, The Celts were not the only ones who carried the book or did lots of praying. Lots of other peoples did this and now it is mostly gone.

My class work will end after this semester. This term is not as much fun. Time to be done with classes.

More later.


Barabarjean ( Dec. ’11) adds, “Everyone is spooked about winter weather. It is a sad time … time for Rachmaninoff music.”


Hi Frances!

Nice to hear from you. You ask if we have snow – yes, a measly couple of inches. But, I love the white stuff.

I was a kid, living in Reno, Nevada in 1950. That year it snowed over a foot on an already impressive amount of ground cover. Since then I have loved big snows. I remember going with my dad out to our small ranch. The snow was so deep from drifting and it was so cold that some of our horses walked over the fence and were visiting a neighboring ranch. We took them some hay and alfalfa to feed them till we could get them back to our place.

I can still see the road that day. Big snow blowers had cut out a path. On both sides of the road, snow was piled higher than the roof of our car. Wow!



Simon Stargazer

(Feb. ’12) adds, “Later, I lived in Duluth Minnesota. We had five-foot drifts in our yard most of the winter. What fun we had digging out forts and tunnels!”


Hi, Frances,

We had some lovely rain this morning, starting before daybreak. It is so welcome.

I learned something new about myself last week at the doctor’s office. I was in the waiting room with two other women. In came a man and another woman. The man ap-parently recognized one of two women seated near me. He be-gan to ask her all kinds of questions — and hardly gave her a chance to answer. He talked loud and just went on and on and on. He was really getting on my nerves.

When the nurse called my name, I told her I was glad to get out of the waiting room because of the guy’s loud talking. Then she took my blood pressure and — sure enough — it was up! The nurse and I had a laugh about it.

I have been sound sensitive for years. Now I’ve discovered its physical effect on me!

That’s about it for now.

Bless you, my friend,


June Poucher

(Feb. ’12) adds, “Recently, my brother-in-law passed on. His terminal illness triggered flashbacks of my husband’s passing. I had a

difficult few days, but I am shaking off the old memories and getting on with my life.”






Ah! The joys of living in Florida during the winter. A few mornings ago, my neighbor brought over a quarter of a lemon pie that his wife, Sally, had made. I ate the whole chunk for breakfast!


Then, yesterday was the mobile park’s bimonthly pot luck dinner. There was a lot of food (family style) and tons of dessert. I grabbed a piece of Sally’s lemon meringue pie and ate it before the dinner even started. Later, seeing more pies appeared on the dessert table, I cut a piece of raspberry pie and enjoyed it after my meal. To top it all off, on the way out, someone an-nounced we should help our-selves to more dessert! I always like to help out, so I took home two more pieces of raspberry pie. I ate one, and will have the other tomorrow for breakfast.


Sadly, I also saw my doctor yesterday regarding ongoing digestive system soreness. (Can’t be too much pie, can it?)


Luckily, he fixed me up.


Carpe diem, 




(Oct. ’11) adds, “I’m thinking of going to a dance every day for one week. This afternoon, I am driving to the Winter Haven American Legion Tea Dance where I met Frances back in 2003.”


Dear Frances,


Life keeps going up and down, good and bad. I’ve not had any more outbursts like I did a couple of months ago. But I still try to talk to my husband. Try to understand. Try. … It’s tough when he won’t listen.


Last time you wrote, you suggested I pray for him. I never stopped. I pray for everyone in my life — even the girl at work who makes fun of me. I pray for others to be more understanding. I pray for my husband to have a heart, to hear me. To listen. To care.


You said to pray forty days. I can do that. But you added that during that time I can’t tell any story about him that has emotion. If I slip and do that, I have to start over with my prayer count. I will probably have to start over many times. …


I heard about another apart-ment. They have a walking path that goes through a park and comes out across the street from where I work. The landlord is a woman who used to work where I do. In fact, she trained me when I transferred from the kitchen department to the laun-dry. When I talked to her, she said, “I think I can help you.”


I pray and wait. Thanks again for listening.


Love and prayers,




(Sept.’11) adds, “I look forward to my family reunion coming up and keep peace at home.


I let my husband have the TV and CD player. I read in my bedroom and write.”




Dearest Fritzie,


Thank you for being such a great friend. I was going through some paperwork and notes I keep in hopes of a day like today. I just enjoy reading through them, taking my time. I never seem to have time for this kind of thing. Now, all things are on hold as I sit here and my time is blessed.


I am recalling a recent con-versation between my dad and me. I told him I would rather give than receive. I also wasn’t worried about how my life seems unorganized right now. He told me he loved me and said I should make myself happy.


I remember you are going to see your Michigan kids soon. Stay warm!


Fritzie, keep in touch as you always do. Safe travels!


Love to you,




(Feb. ’12) adds, “Last summer I visited Michigan and spent most of the time on the farm. I just fed the cats, and weeded the plants. Simple activities and the Michigan weather made it all enjoyable.”



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