around the frame may 2012 – our experiences

Dear Frances:

Wow, do I feel your pain in your Apr. ’12 letter–the  emotional suffering that you endured with your family.  I can sooo relate.  I keep my family at arm’s length–and farther.  That will probably never change. 

Despite reconnecting with my sisters, being around them too much is dangerous. I soon feel small and threatened.  

 I also know it is so very, very difficult to be with people who really don’t like you.  It’s one thing if they are plain dys-functional, that is something that you can deal with.  But when they don’t like you on top of it?  Ugh!  My utter sympathies go out to you.  

One of my mentors tells  what a challenge it is to deal with her daughter, who is staying with her. My friend can see a lot of the “stuff” she has with her daughter, especially the triggers.  Yet, it is still difficult.

Those situations really do threaten your serenity, don’t they? 

Be well. I am thinking of you!


Linda Rosenthal (Apr. ’12) adds, “I thank God for my emotional recovery.   Most times it pays to stick with tough situations–some times not so much.”


Dear Frances,

Reading your “Enterprise” story of April ‘12, I’m left with lots to think about.  I know you’ll consider what strikes a chord, and drop the rest.I understand the feeling of being lost geographically.

I am directionally challenged as well, and it often upsets me.  When I read your story, I noticed that–when your ex- looked at you and raised his eyebrows–you decided to make up hateful words to explain his “look.”  (OK, based on your experience with him, you knew what he was thinking?) And yet, why do his dirty work for him by (See next.) adding the words that hurt you even more?

I also considered that, may-be when his wife suggested the cell with a GPS–she wasn’t purposely trying to offend.  Maybe she uses her own GPS a lot and finds it very helpful.

Still, as you had explained, your defenses were down when you arrived. When your “shield” is weak or down, anything can feel hurtful.  I imagine that no one– not a single person in the gym– understood that you felt emotional, afraid, ashamed, and tender.

How strong you truly are, when you can stand firmly and do the next right thing, even when feeling flooded by insecurity over your minor weakness which felt so major that day.

Hugs to you sweet friend.  I’m sending this with love and hope you’re feeling groovy.

            Kiss kiss,


Sherryl (May 2012) adds, “I’m sad that whole thing hurt you so much.  I give you permission to forgive yourself for that very minor error in directional challenge–and applaud you for sticking it out and finding your way there and going in and staying with it all. “


Dearest Fritzaberry,

 Thanks for the April ‘12 Ninepatch! Sorry you had to experience the frustration of being lost. I hate that feeling.  I do have a GPS now which I take on trips to California.  It’s usually quite helpful.  GPS or not, it sounds as if your ex- is having some issues.

About Linda Rosenthal’s camping story (April ’12), I didn’t know that raccoons trilled!  Last winter, we had a giant one that came into our yard. It ate the dog’s food and washed its face in the dog’s water bowl after eating the veggies from my garden.

I shooed it from the back porch and it climbed a tree.  It sat and regarded me and my dog for quite a while.



Liz/Moascar (Mar. ’12) adds, “I had a most distressing dream about the elementary in Key West where my son went to school. It was being flooded in a hurricane. (My younger son is now nearly twenty, but in the dream, he was a small boy.) He was evacuated to the mainland and I couldn’t find him. When I move to California this summer, he will stay in Florida. Seems the dream was about separation anxiety!”


Dear Frances,

The April ‘12 issue was sooo interesting.  I enjoy reading pieces of people’s lives.

Your Michigan trip was beautifully told.  I think the lessons we learn can be very hard. I enjoy having you share yours with me. 

I think I am learning to become a kinder person through my Twelve Step experience.  I have noticed how gossip can be damaging to the person doing it as well as the person being gossiped about.  I catch myself now before I have to make an apology or amend.  My husband, Hank, says that one way to catch yourself is to notice if the person being talked about is present. If he or she is not, it’s gossip. 

Yesterday I tripped over the dog, fell against a bench hitting my left side on a corner and landed on the floor on my back.  I have never felt such pain.

Hank drove me to get x-rayed: no broken ribs, just a lot of bruising and hurting. 

I had been about to take the dog out and was dressed in three layers which may have been the reason for no broken bones.  Today I feel as if I’d been hit by a truck. 

It was not the fault of the dog and she was not hurt.

            I am going to get in bed.

            Love and xxoo, 


Lousie (Mar. ’12) adds, “My suffering son is on his own now. It’s been ninety days since he had treatment. He feels good and I am hopeful he’ll recover.”

Reality is what it is.

 James (Apr. ’12) continues,


“Truth is what people think it is.”



Dear St. Frances:


Enjoyed the April ’12 newsletter. Very insightful.


Listen to my inner voice. It says things like: “Don’t trust that woman.” “Stay away from that man.”  My problem is, when someone tells me something, I believe them. 


Last month I told about my “former friend.” The very first time I met her, I didn’t like her. It was like I heard a voice whisper, “Stay away from her.”  There wasn’t much reason to spend any time in her company. But, though I always refused, she always asked me to join an  historical society.


Looking back, I realized she  was “feeling me out.”  Over time  she softened me. I joined the society in the hopes of learning more about old local events.


She worked to make me her friend. She told secrets about herself, whispered about others, and shared pieces of history she heard or learned.


But, over the next few years, tiny comments people made niggled at me. Again I heard my  inner voice, “Be careful! Remember? You didn’t like her the first time you met her.” I started backing away from her.


Every person is given a chance over the course of a lifetime to make and repeat mistakes–to learn and change. I had to change from the inside. (No one changes us from just the outside.)


If I were given a chance to repeat the last eight to ten years, I still do not know if I would. I was brought up to not listen to my first impressions.


My former friend?  I started (and I’m still working at this) putting better thoughts in my mind. I stuck inspiring sayings and quotes on the fridge.  


In my heart of hearts, I have forgiven her. But, when I see her at social functions, I ignore her—better safe than sorry.


Malania (Apr. ’12) adds, “I learned much about myself and about manipulative people aka, “covert bullies.”  In meeting them, I can again pick up this bitter tendency.  Now I smile, but turn away.”


Dear Fritzie,


In your March 2012 e-mail  you wrote, “Technology is trying. Why is my brain so slow? I hate not being able to “get” new computer programs.  I hope I never have to change my PC or Internet server again!”


            Well, if you’re learning a whole new computer operating system, you’re sure not entitled to claim brain malfunction! That’s just how it goes.  


You also said you remember me as being a “busy go-go-getter.” I had to laugh.  In terms of business progress, I might as well have been digging to China these past two years.


            On the bright side, my wife and I just returned from Maui, Hawaii where we witnessed two friends’ wedding. The prognosis for their marriage should be excellent. They’ve been together for over eighteen years.  Still, I have to tease them with the question of whether they’re putting a good relationship at risk by “fixing” it.    Ha!


            All the best,






Fred (Apr. ‘12) adds, “As for Hawaii, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the place.  Until now, I saw the islands as a tourist trap.  But the geography of the place gripped me.  Looking from one to the other was like being in the Colorado Rockies and looking across a vast valley from atop one mountain ridge to another.  However, in this case, the ‘valley’ is the Pacific Ocean and full of water.   After the visit, I understand the sense of an island kingdom.” 






Dear Frances,


 I thought I would have a new address to send you by now.  I thought so three other times, too.


You suggested that I pray for Harold. You said that even if I move out, I will still have him in my heart and mind since I lived with him so long.


It’s hard to do. I know I should pray for him, but what does he do for me? We live together, but he doesn’t lift a finger to help. He doesn’t put any of his money into supporting us. He has even stopped making the house payment.


I haven’t seen my counselor since last month. We are down to every-four-week appointments. Harold pointed out she doesn’t even give me a whole hour. He said, “Did something happen? You are out early.  Maybe she doesn’t want to listen to you.”


 I have to have patience.  I know God has a plan for me. He knows my heart, mind and soul. He knows what I need.  It’s just not all that easy when I don’t seem to be making any progress.


But, I pray anyway.  Please pray for me!


            God bless you and keep you safe,


            Love and prayers,




 LindaSue (Apr. ’12) says, “I still read about the Amish . At the library I picked up, What The Heart Sees by Kathleen Fuller. It’s a collection of short stories. I like the recipes included in the book!”




Dear Frances,


If I sound reflective and pensive of late, then I’m in the groove for my Lenten reflections.  It’s always amazing how when I choose my “wart” to work on during the prayerful weeks, I see perspectives on it every where!


My other pensive driver is yet another whack in the head by my oldest brother.  He promised  to visit in March during my birthday phone call last fall. (The first time I ever received a birthday contact actually on that day!) Now, the promised visit is gone. He says, “I just saw you last July.”


Hmm. I visited there July, but he called in October saying he was coming this spring!  He pulled that same promise a year ago. Yet another lesson in, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Why that little girl in me keeps looking for love–as I understand it–from my brothers is beyond me. 


I suppose I knew he could (and probably would) back out.  But tender hope builds, and the wall of rejection is hard when I hit it.  I bounced back a lot faster this time. I guess that is progress.






Georgene (Apr. ’12) adds,


“I’ve finally let go of a huge volunteer job and I’m really starting to see the fruit of new found time.”






My new mantra is, I am aging gracefully.”  I was recently watching Wayne Dwyer on PBS.


He said our thoughts and what we say are what we manifest.  I strongly believe that.


A few weeks ago when I was driving through South Carolina, I saw an assisted living home that was named “Aging Gracefully.”  Then and there, I decided to adopt that as an affirmation. 


I played a little gig with fellow Celtic players a while back at several assisted living homes.  It was my first performance using my new concertina.    Music is fun!






Palma (Apr. ’11) adds,


When last I talked to my very ill  sister, she was laughing.  I said, “You must be feeling pretty good. You’re laughing.” 


She replied, “I could be crying in a minute.  I switch from one to the other all the time.” 



It’s Sunday night. I just returned from the 15h annual Cajuncrawfish Festival!

Fun, fun, fun.  I arrived there about 1:30 –after the first band started. Then came a second band from Louisiana. (Both very good.)   Last, at 6:30 was  Ramblegrass–a bluegrass band that performed till 8. (See next.)

I danced with five different ladies: waltz, Cajun two-step, slow dance, and zydeco.  Met a  young couple that I had seen  a year ago at a zydeco dance and three others I knew.

Home now, and having a glass of wine.  Suddenly I feel ready for bed.

Laissez le bon temps roule!


Le (Oct. 11) adds, “I really enjoyed the music, bought two bottles of water and some jambalaya.  Tasty. It was good to be out dancing and seeing familiar faces.” Note: Le’s French says, “Let the good times roll!”



Thanks Frances! 

Nice to get an e-link to Wayne Dyer’s newsletter. I recently listened to his session concerning his new book, Wishes Fulfilled. It was on TV’s PBS channel.  

One of his statements was, “Real is never changing.”  He went on to explain saying as our bodies are constantly changing, this is not the real part of us.  (I think he meant our spirits.) Another statement which impressed me was, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” 

Both statements go with my faith. It is our creative part which is so important.

            Blessings to you, Frances.


Dottie (Jan. ’12) adds, “Great to be outside today! Though early March, it was 68 degrees.  I worked some in the yard and walked in the park, too.  So many people were out with their dogs.  I petted a few.”


Hello Frances,

Had to take a break from my daily writing schedule, but hopefully I will start again tomorrow or the next day.

I am keeping my promise to Uncle Jerry to finish all my manuscripts.

I have joined a group of walkers who go out four days for about three miles.  I want to remain healthy especially since I am alone, now. I miss Uncle Jerry very much.

Take care. Best wishes! Lotte 

Lotte de Roy (Apr.’12) adds,

“Someone in my grief group loaned me a book, Grieving: How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies. It’s by Therese A. Rando, PhD.  It’s next on my reading list.”


Dear Frances,

Because of city regulations, I could not use my house for the new pet grooming business.  My sister and I had to lease a commercial space.

Renovations of that are close to completion and we’ve opened the salon. Now, I’m cautiously optimistic about picking a clipper up again.

I hope to one day be as good a groom as my sister.

Watching how impressed and thrilled people are when they leave the shop with their pets makes me want to bring that sort of joy to people and their pets too.

More soon–I hope.  : )


Lynn/TROR (Jan.’12) “As you can imagine, this business endeavor means long days and a ton of stress. Looking forward to ‘normal’ work days!”



Hi Fritzie,

            I have been really upset a few times with my son Bryan who refuses to get mental health help. Recently, I had some heart tests. My concern seems to have an effect on my heart beat. Worrying wears me out. 

So, I have been praying –again. I have asked God to not let my son’s problems get to me like they usually do. I can’t change anything with him. Lord knows I have tried everything!

For my own health, I just can’t let it all get to me.  I have asked for God’s help in that area.

Going to close.  Take care my friend. Will talk to you later.


Patricia (Feb. ’12) adds, “My tests showed the new heart valve is doing what it is supposed to do.  I am glad.”


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