around the frame apr 2014 – our experiences

Dear Frances,

Traveling helps me get into “The River of Life.”  I cannot be in my rote routine when I am traveling.  I have to be in the flow since newness has no exact path.   I gain new perspectives being in uncharted territory.  I have to keep giving up control so I will not be afraid of the outcome.

I’m working on that right now for an Ireland trip. It’s very easy to get ahead of myself and be afraid of the unknown.  If I can stay in the here-and-now, and keep letting go of expectations and outcomes, I have fun with new adventures.

That’s my job right now. To stay in today.




Palma (Jan.’14) adds, “Now, it’s down to the nitty-gritty of making sure I remember everything.”


Dear Frances,

Your reflection, “The River of Life” is very profound and interesting. It grabbed me like not many other pieces. Today is my third time trying to go deeper and deeper into the real message.

A lot of ideas have come to my mind. Maybe your invitation to “reflect” was an unconscious flash that you considered (and I agree) pertinent for others to examine. In spite of my efforts, I can not say, with certainty, that I understand correctly.

You started writing, “I closed my eyes…” Wow! (Now, I am an amateur psychiatrist!) Don’t you want to know or accept? Are you trying to experience the river at a distance without, actually, being in the river? Are you afraid? You admitted that you have been in it before.

Why do you look at it, “Through bushes and small trees?” A poetic touch? Your text said, “… If there is some way to be more in life’s flow I’d like to find it.” That’s a conditional sentence. Does that indicate that you don’t know if there is a way?

I can’t say that I understand correctly. One thing is sure, you have made me think a lot lately.



Jorge is married. He has two adult sons and three grandchildren ages sixteen, fourteen and eleven. He adds, “I escaped from Cuba forty-four years ago. At first, I lived in Spain for two years then later came to the USA.”



Dear Francapattysday,

I enjoyed your story of skating with your dad.  I know your son and grandson both play hockey. They are carrying on a family ice skating tradition.

It was also a reminder to look for the gift in all situations.

<3 Liz


Liz/Moascar (Mar. ‘14) adds, “I have started a new job at Teri (Training Education, Research Institute) and have been in training this week. I will be working one-on-one with students with autism. I’m looking forward to the actual job.”


Dear Frances,

During my proof-reading of the March ‘14 issue, I enjoyed the story from Louise who had so many nicknames for her dog, Maggie. I kept thinking why not, “Maggaroni”? Ha!

Bless you, my friend, 



June Poucher (Mar.’14) adds, “My friend, Ellen, has a dog named Sally; she calls her ‘Sallymandy’ (from salamander).”



Hi Frannyfantastic,

It is twenty degrees today and even inside with layers on, I am cold.  Winter can’t last much longer. Even with all the snow and cold we have had a lot of sunshine this winter.

I have been getting garden catalogues so spring must be on its way.  Winter creatures are becoming more active, too. Yesterday, six deer wandered into the field behind our house.  Today, we had a crow convention.

Love to you,


Louise (Mar. ‘14) adds, “Donna Tartt is my current author of choice.  Her seven hundred and twenty page book   called, The Goldfinch is sooo good.  I just finished an earlier book by her. It was five hundred pages and called, The Secret History.  It was interesting but, after Goldfinch, not my favorite.  She sure writes well.”



Dear Frances,

I am using a prayer list.  I include the Ninepatch people whose names you sent and just about everyone else I know. It helps my attitude.

You said your spiritual advisor asked you to look for evidence of God in your life every day. That would be good to see.

I think for me it might be the animals.  I have a raccoon practically eating out of my hand now.  It’s snowy and he needs food. He waits ‘til I fill him a bowl.  He might run right in here if I left the door open!

A long time ago I chose the raccoon as my Native American spirit guide.  I see the raccoon as a good omen.




Barbarajean (Feb. ‘14) gives us an update, “A physical therapy trial is over except for seeing the psychologist.  They decided I indeed needed another procedure. Very little progress, so far. I am still anxious and in pain.”



Dear Frances,

You wondered how long I waited for clarity concerning my “call” to move to the US Northwest. Here’s the rundown.

In March of 2011, my sister Laurie’s friend had a job interview in Portland, Oregon.   Laurie asked me about the city because I had been there on business in the past.  Almost IMMEDIATELY I wanted to move there.                                                    

However, like you say you are doing about your call to the lake, I sat with those feelings for more than a year.  During that time, I made a “vision board” with pictures of the life I wanted to create in the Northwest.

In June 2012, I left Florida.  When I got to Portland, I lived in temporary housing for three

months, until I found the right neighborhood.

My life now has most of the elements on my vision board.



KarenLouise (Mar.14) adds, “I live in the city limits of Portland, Oregon, but next to a park with large redwood cedars and Douglas Fir. Winters are chilly and rainy, but this month, we’ll have blooms that are truly beautiful.”


Dear Frances,

Last month, you reminded me of many other Ninepatchers who were actually having worse trouble than me. Their stories were awful. I will pray for all those poor people.  My mother always said, “There’s always someone worse off than we are.” And there is.

In dealing with my dad, you suggested I use the little prayer, “Bless him, change me.” Yes. The Bible also says do not return evil for evil, but good for evil.

You suggested I write down happy stories from when I was “Daddy’s little girl.” You know, I can’t even remember any, anymore…. I used to have a journal I filled with things I am grateful for. I don’t know whatever happened to it.

I am going on vacation with my brother. I couldn’t find a place for Dad to stay so he says he will stay on his own. When I return from the trip, I will be away a weekend. I’m going to stay with my daughter, for my granddaughter’s high school graduation celebrations.

My one-bedroom apartment is finally available!  I haven’t told Dad yet.  He’s still getting used to my other little times away.  One thing at a time. Baby steps to freedom.

Please keep praying for me. I need all the help I can get!

Love and Prayers,



LindaSue (March’14) adds, “I am still working, reading, writing and praying. Taking one day at a time.”



Hi Fritzie

I am happy God has allowed me to live so long. Health wise, I am in good shape because I can walk and mentally (although some might disagree) I am doing well.

You say you went to Michigan this winter. I used to travel and move a lot as an ex-military wife, but I am all over traveling, now.  I like staying at home.

Nothing new with Bryan.  It has been really cold this winter and snowing.  I just pray that he will be protected.  I pray for his soul.

I miss you my friend.  When I think of Florida and my previous winters there, the thoughts are happy and peaceful.

Going to close now.  Hope this finds you and your family well.

Talk to you later




Patricia (Mar. 14) adds, “I am reading Dr. Ben Carson’s,America the Beautiful.  This is the third book of his I have read.

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