around the frame sep 2014 – our experiences

a bowl of sea shells

Dear Frances,

Thanks for the Ninepatch extra about shells. My grandparents went to Florida every winter. They brought back many beautiful shells for my brothers and me. I have passed them on to my children.


LindaSue (See also page 4) adds, “I think we all pick up shells when we walk along the beach.”


On table, Betsy’s shell projects

On table, Betsy’s shell projects

Hi Fritzie,

Whenever Ninepatch arrives, there is always something that inspires me to do, make, or create with whatever is around. I just read your reflection and I went running off to my study to take my shells into the kitchen to flash a photo!

Your articles and ideas always inspire me to do something to share with you! How wonderful!

Wishing you traveling blessings. I’m looking forward to your next issue!

Love, and thanks,


Betsy (Aug. ‘14) adds, “Thanks for all the careful work you do, and all of

the great ideas that you share with all of us!”



I received July’s Ninepatch the other day. The postage stamp was “Spiderman 2.” I called our post office to see if they had Spiderman stamps and the man said, “No. Maybe three years ago.”

(I didn’t think “Spiderman 2” was that old. Maybe it is.)

The reason I asked is, my grandson in California loves Spiderman and I wanted to get him a book of Spiderman stamps.

He is twenty-five years old, but I send him stuff that pertains to that character. He just laughs. I also send his dad joke-y things of Batman.

They both think I am nuts, but ask me if I care!

Talk to you later


Patricia (July ‘14) adds, “I like different stamps. The flags are nice, Bob likes them so I get them for his mail. I like to go to the post office and select stamps that appeal to me.”


Dear Franceavisits,

Last weekend I was surprised when both my sons came to visit. One lives elsewhere in California, but the other lives in Florida. It was so wonderful!

One son brought his girl-friend along and the four of us hiked down the cliffs to the beach at Torrey Pines. We watched the sun set and a super moon-rise. An owl hooted our way back up the cliff.

I have been living in my “new” trailer since mid-July. Renovations are pretty much complete. Everybody who visits, loves it. It’s very sweet!



Liz/Moascar (Aug. ‘14) adds, “I started back to school in the middle of August. Here goes another year!”

Postcard from Liz’s new home

Postcard from Liz’s new home


Dear Frances,

You always say how hard it is to travel. For someone who doesn’t necessarily like to drive, you do put the miles on!

Don’t be surprised if I’m quiet for a bit. My mother’s in the hospital. I’ve been struggling to get hold of her doctor and see what her prognosis is.

Hope you enjoy your trip North, and it’s not too hard on you.

I pray all’s well with you and JK.



Lynn (Apr.’14) adds, “Truth is, I rather envy your car travel. I’m phobic about driving and that limits me shamefully.”


Hi Fritzie,

After my last series of flights away from base, I was really tired when I got back to my home-away-from home, The Fuselodge, in Houston, Texas.

I think of our friendship often. I loved your book. It kept my interest and I could not put it down. I would love to see it on the best seller list.

Your writing is truly wonderful and fulfilling. You need to write another.

Love to all,


Jodi (Aug. ‘14) adds, “I am not scheduled for about a week and making use of every one of the days. First, doing some paperwork, then going to rent a car for a couple days and do some driving around.”



Hello, dear Frances:

You say you waited while JK had cataract surgery at the VA. Here’s a coincidence with our husbands: I’m sitting in a waiting room, 7th floor, of the VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor. Bill’s having a routine procedure and I’ll be waiting for him for about two or three hours.

I’m a good “waiter,” I had plenty of practice when I was little. Mother left me to myself in the car while she visited my brother at the state hospital. I used to bring my little plastic menagerie to play with and I’d pretend for what seemed like hours.

In those days, children of a certain age could not visit the patients. Or maybe Mother didn’t want me to go inside, I’m not sure. It was a grim place and more than a little disturbing.

Once, a patient exposed himself during one of those visits. I was in the car and happened to look up. I’m sure that he saw me. Ugh.

At any rate, here I am, waiting again. This time I used the computer lab here to write and read e-mail. Not much like playing with my plastic animals.

I’m glad to hear that JK was okay to travel and that you two are on your way North. I’m sure you will be happy to arrive after a long drive. Anyway, I am sending this to you with fond wishes and good settling into your lake cottage.

Best wishes with your alone time!


Linda Rosenthal (Aug. ‘14) adds, “Alone time is glorious. It’s a time to recharge and, for me, a time to rediscover myself and what I want to do and be. I don’t get nearly enough of it. The alone time feels strange, like being washed up on an unfamiliar beach. But, it feels good to explore

the sound of my own mind, if you know what I mean!”


Dear St. Frances,

The older I become, the more I realize how much my childhood influenced me,

and why I have to keep on learning.

Recently, I was talking with a friend and she said, “It’s good to keep learning.”

I replied, “I will keep on, but I am tired of what I call ‘jury-rigging.’”

When I was a kid, I used my imagination to “rig” or fix something that wasn’t right.

Now, my imagination has come in handy. Sometimes, my husband won’t tend to

something that needs fixing, so I just imagine how to get it done and do it!

Maybe my active creative thinking is the reason I like to keep on learning

something new.


Malaina (Aug. ‘14) says, “In addition to using imagination to problem-solve, I am a watcher. When I sit in airports, I look at people. Some resemble others I know and I wonder, ‘Are they distant relatives?’”


Dear Frances,

It’s a cold, rainy day. I’m enjoying listening to old records, tapes and CDs. Fun.

You asked why my son-in-law was sleeping on my couch. The family moved up

north. It was his idea, but he still works in town here. It’s a hundred miles round trip! The few nights he stayed, he said he had to work the early shift and didn’t want the long drive. But, I think there may be problems at home, too. I don’t want to get into that! Nothing I can do, anyway. I

gave their troubles to God.

My other daughter, Anita, calls a lot and asks for money. She doesn’t like it that I am doing things on my own. I thought she would be happy for me. (Not!) Actually, neither of my girls is all that pleased with my new life. Guess they think like my ex-husband: after work, Mom’s

supposed to stay home and keep house.

I am still working and glad to have the job and friends there. Stability is important. One step at a time. Now, I am thinking about retiring–maybe next year. It’s getting harder for me to keep up.

God’s plan. I’ll wait and see.

Love and prayers,

Linda Sue

LindaSue (Aug.’14) adds, “I don’t see my counselor anymore, but have a special friend I write to every week.. I tell her all my thoughts and feelings.”


Nice to hear from you Frances,

I was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at “Tredway’s Fen” for a week. I enjoyed my time up north. The mosquitoes are bad this year. (I understand the bats, which eat the pests, were having a bad time with a fungus disease, which has killed many.) I spent time inside my gazebo playing my concertina.

Now Ed is gone, I don’t think I’ll be using the place as much and have decided to sell Tredway’s Fen” if I can. I am delighted to have a possible buyer. A gent from Marquette has fallen in love with my place. He says that he has to sell his boat first. Am waiting on things to fall into place.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a jam session of old time-y music in Munising. It was much like the one I go to in Florida. Fun.

Love, Palma

Palma (July ‘14) adds, “Now I am home again, like you, I wonder why I seem to

come and go so much. It’s a lot of preparation to leave and ‘un-preparation’ when I get home.”


Dear Frances,

So your new book is about a trip to Ireland. I’ve had two other encounters with that country. My friend Benneth just returned from there last week. I know Benneth from our weekly Centering Prayer group. She is a medical doctor with a lot of responsibility. She takes trips to Ireland or

retreats to monasteries to recharge and renew.

You mentioned being surprised at aspects of The Sacred Feminine that you experienced in learning about the ancient Celts who lived there. Benneth would agree about the feminine quality of Ireland. The old ones there seem to work in concert with the global quality of Mother Earth.

My second encounter with the Irish was last Saturday. I went for a walk in the neighborhood and ended up at a garage sale. I chatted up the homeowner because, that is what I do. She was selling their stuff in order to move to Ireland, where her husband was born. There you have it, two Oregonians I encountered who feel drawn to Ireland.

Like other life occurrences, it’s interesting how ideas and concepts can cluster.


KarenLouise (Aug. ‘14) adds, “I’ve really enjoyed reading the stories of other Ninepatchers. Someone is always on an adventure or recalling one from times past.”




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