around the frame feb 2015 – our experiences

Hi Frances…

January ’15 Ninepatch was another well-done issue. Tough subjects as well as great memories.

Thanks for a great rendition of our completed beginning to “The Nevada Adventure!”

May your journey toward home be both rewarding and a renewal.

Blessings and Peace,

Simon Stargazer

Simon Stargazer (Jan. ’15) adds, “I hope your Jan. story is on the road to not only being cathartic, but also repairing.”


Dear Frances,

Your Jan. ’15 cover story reminded me of a similar relationship I had with a native of Mexico, also named Luis, while I was living in that country.

My Spanish improved dramatically under his linguistic and romantic attention, but he was a peasant not destined for much of a future. I couldn’t see myself living that sort of life forever.

After nine months (Hmm, symbolic amount of time) I decided to return to the United States and accept a job offer for summer employment before continuing my college education. The boyfriend and I carried on a correspondence for about twenty years, and an affair of sorts was realized in our fantasies, if not our written words.

I am content not to feel guilty or blame, but to let go of the past. I know you will do what is right for you.



Carol (Oct. ’14) adds, “My Spanish atrophied along with my correspondence with Luis.”


Dear Frances,

I didn’t make a resolution, as such, but a giant burden of guilt has been lifted from me about being disabled and my inability to commit to any sort of schedule because of pain and lack of sleep.

An important, positive part of my identity has always been reliability.  Now, I have to remind myself that it’s not that I am an unreliable person, it’s that I cannot honor plans at this time in my life due to the unpredictable nature of my illness. 

In 2015 I am going to REST and do that a lot.  Other than trying to remember to write “2015” on things instead of “2014,” that’s about it.

Pam S.

Pam S. lives with Crow and Theo, her two dogs. Married in past, but no children. She is grateful for life, healed relationships, a wonderful group of women who support each others’ growth, and for all past, present and future teachers in her life. One of her main goals this year is to become more comfortable with being still.”


Dear St. Frances,

You always come through on a day when I need an uplift of the spirit! Thanks.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Oh, yes. My new year’s resolution is –as always–to give up cigarette smoking.

This is also what I give up during Lent.

The comical side of this is, I am not Catholic and neither do I smoke! ?

My friends normally roll their eyes when I mention this resolution each year. I just roll along with it!

Take care.


Malaina (Jan.’15) adds, “Everyone on your staff does a GREAT job with Ninepatch!”


Indiana’s cold and snow

Indiana’s cold and snow

Dear Francesca,

Here’s a photo from my friend’s front porch. Ah. You can barely even see Syracuse Lake where you rented last summer.

Remember the old days when you and I ice-skated on that lake?


Elaine (Jan.’15) adds,This morning on my doggie walk I was tempted to ‘dumpster dive.’ A neighbor left a charming old chair at the curb for trash pickup. It was something I could easily restore. But then I remembered my own commandment: Thou shalt not accumulate.”


Hi Fritzie!

This is the coldest weather we’ve had for awhile. I feel sad when it is so cold because of homeless and animals left outside. (I will never understand why people have pets and don’t let them in the house.)

Also, my homeless son, Bryan, is out in this bitter weather. I only pray he will be treated kindly, with all the others, and have a place to get warm. I wish I could win the lottery and help some of the homeless people and places that rescue animals.

I have decided that this year is going to be a different in several ways. I have been rather lax and lazy in a couple of ways. First, I will do what I can, but call on Bob to help when it gets to be too much (My husband is good about that and I will return the favor when he is over-loaded.)

Second, I want to get more involved in the church. I am going to attend a Women’s Bible Study and join the ladies for breakfast, which I think is once a month. It’s time to get off my duff !

My mind gets over-active too. When I start something, I plan to finish it–not stop in the middle and do something else. I have started and am doing much better in all the above areas. I hope I can stay with the changes.

Going to close now my friend.

Take care.


Patricia (Jan.’15) says, “I can’t sit and do nothing. I am always on the move. That can be good and that can be bad. (I think Ms. Fritzie knows exactly what I am talking about. I sometimes hear it in her comments.)”


Dear Frances,

I thought about writing you but had a little low spot after Christmas and couldn’t get myself motivated.

I had such a nice time at my daughter’s over Christmas. Getting home to my house and being alone seemed overwhelming for a few days. This is, after all, the time I have spent with my partner, Ed, in Florida all these years. I miss him.

I ended up calling a friend and going out to listen to some music on New Year’s Eve for a couple of hours. I seemed to want the upbeat energy from those who were celebrating. It worked out great as we saw

people we knew and were home by 10:30.

I did manage to stay up for the New Years fireworks I could hear coming from downtown.

It was only ten degrees and I was not up to watching them in person!

I hope all is well with you and yours.


Palma (Nov.’14) adds, “I’m back to normal now and trying to accomplish some of those things on my ‘holed-up for winter’ list.”


Hello, Frances:

       I have been feeling kind of lonesome.  My dear husband is a wonderful friend and companion, but you know how it is: the reflection of Twelve Step friends like you are different, in a very good way.

I’ve been struggling.  The whole healthcare thing is making me a little crazy.  I had finally summoned the nerve to get an appointment with a female doctor. It’s been several years since I had a health exam.   (I have issues with doctors, including shaming, molestation, and inappropriate questions regarding religion.) 

At the time I made the call to the doc’s office, I had insurance and spent 1 ½ hours filling out paperwork.  The desk girl told me her doc’s nurse practitioner would examine me and only then would they decide whether they would take me as a new patient.  While I waited to see the NP, I got a call from the office manager who said the doctor rejected me.  I rung off the phone and burst into tears.

The next day I summoned courage again and made some more calls. I found a female Physician’s Assistant that I liked, but she isn’t taking new patients.  I should get a checkup.  I know there will be some health care limitations as I age, but I don’t want them to happen because of my improper choices.  That happened to my mother. I saw her sit her life away in her house; goodness knows that I don’t want that for myself.

I feel better just writing about this, thanks for reading and listening.  It is what it is. 

       It was certainly good to hear from you.




Linda Rosenthal (Jan. ’15) adds, “No luck so far in finding a doctor.  I’m giving up the search for now. I’m going to take whatever life throws at me and if I have to go to an urgent care clinic for a problem, that’s what I will do.  Time to focus on exercise and nutrition.”


Hello, Frances,

I was supposed to be at work. I was all ready to go when my brother’s wife called to say they are stuck and can’t get out of their driveway to pick me up. She said they had been shoveling nearly two hours.

I called back to work. No one there could come get me. I waited and called later. My boss said, “Just stay home today.”

I haven’t worked much this month. I took the first week off because my ride was out of town. I had time off the middle of the month for surgery, too.

Years ago, I had a brain tumor removed and some of my facial muscles were affected. Now, I had to have that side of my face “lifted” ever so often. This time it was an eyebrow repair to improve my sight.

Physical ailments affect everyone differently. I have gone though many surgeries with recovery and aftereffects. Some solutions cause other problems.

My answer to everything is: pray. Just pray. I pray for endurance, strength, patience and directions.

God bless.

Love and Prayers,


LindaSue (Jan. ‘15) says, “I’m still taking one day at a time and watching for God to show me

the way.”


Dear Frances,

The new job is great. Of course, but I am worried about my skill set.

I’m just not as sharp as I was and my frustration level is making me snappy. (That darn perfectionism!)

It’s fear, I know, but it’s still bad news to behave poorly. I remind myself that I’m here for a reason and just need to let things unfold.

Sister has a small sign on her desk, which says, “Occupation should never withdraw the mind from God.” Ministering is serving and it can be hard.

I need to put the same sign on my desk.



Georgene (Jan. ’15) adds, “My husband and I just took five days at the beach. Time… glorious time to watch the waves and reflect. What a treat!”


Dear Frances,

I was a little girl during WWII, but I still remember things that happened during that time.

Neither my father nor my uncle was drafted. Both worked the Goodyear factories where they made yellow life rafts. While the war was on, Goodyear gave the children of people who worked there a Christmas party.

It was very special. They put on a movie for us and we got candy in boxes, too.

Nancyann (Jan. ‘15) adds, “I also remember how everyone used to save the tops and bottoms of cans. We flattened round cans, too, and gave all of that tin to the war effort. All metal was precious.”


Hello Frances,

I did not make it to home for the holidays due to post-surgical pain. It was just too soon after my implant.

Mother Nature worked long and hard to create my physical mess, and I cannot undo it with mere exercise, pills and a nerve stimulator. But, I have to do the best with what I have and move on … very slowly.

Oh! I have not had my fortune told in many years, but I think I would like to do that now, just for fun.

There are “readers” downtown. I wonder if they will be able to sense anything. My illness does not show, so it might be interesting.

Years ago, I went to a woman in my home town for readings. She owned a specialty gift shop and for twenty dollars, she told fortunes in the back room. She claimed to have a spirit guide who told her things about the people who came to see her. Fun.

Actually, she did a really good job at the time!


Barbarajean (Jan.’15) adds, “I am pretty psychic myself, but can’t do my own readings. Now I think of it, I may just be more of a ‘mentalist,’ like the guy on TV!”


The present answers questions of the past.

James (Jan.’15) adds, “Once a race is run, ‘Who will win?’ is obvious.”

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