around the frame jan 2017 – our experiences

almost used up candle

After about two and a half days.

Dear Frances,

I love the Midmonth Reflection candle piece I just received.  I need to print it and get it framed. 

Much love,

Louise (Dec. ‘16)


Great reflection! I think Michelle Obama, in her interview with Oprah Winfrey, summed it up well when she spoke of the need for “hope.”

What I feel is hopelessness and fear. Many of the values I spent my career promoting and defending are now being disregarded and disrespected.


Lynn (Nov. ‘15) adds, “I will do my best to continue to advocate for the beliefs I cherish.”


Dear Frances,

  I just received your December Reflection. I felt the peace and calmness with which it is endowed. I liked the openness and the invitation it offers to us Ninepatchers.

Thank you and bless you.

June Poucher (Dec. ‘16)


Thanks for the centering down exercise, Frances. I am glad that it brings focus and stability into your life. 

One of the things that comforts me is realizing that I have survived many presidents since Ike. (He is the first one that I saw on TV.) 

Realizing that all their changes have not made a significant impact on me, personally, has strengthened my attitude that I am responsible for me, and I will find a way regardless of outside influences. 

Simon Stargazer (See his poem in THREAD.)


Dear Frances,

I really liked your “Candle Gazing” midmonth reflection and what the process symbolized for you.  It is a great lesson on introspection, as well as centering the spirit.


Have a peaceful winter.

Carol (Nov. 16)



About “Candle Gazing,” very nice symbolism. 

It was a troubling time for me also. I decided that all the bad stuff I envisioned happening should be set aside, that I shouldn’t worry about stuff that hasn’t happened yet.

Palma (Dec. ‘16)


A Favorite Relief Sale quilt.A Favorite Relief Sale quilt.

A Favorite Relief Sale quilt.

Dear Frances,

I enjoyed “The Relief Sale” story. Amish quilts are beautiful. My grandmother made some nice quilts, too. She gave all her grandchildren a handmade quilt as a wedding gift!

I did a lot of baking for Christmas. I gave my brothers and their families cans of homemade cookies and candy as gifts. (I didn’t know what else to give them!)

I didn’t get a new library card since all my moves. My sister-in-law helped out. She brought me bags of books and magazines to read while she and my brother were gone to Florida. (They call to check on me and she and I still chat.)

I don’t much like the new bus system and now that winter has settled in with ice and snow, I don’t much like going out, either. Weather was so bad the other night that my son-in-law didn’t start the long drive home, but slept on my couch. That evening freezing rain hit the windows all night long.

I am fine. I hope you are, too.

Love and Prayers,


LindaSue (Dec. ‘16) says, “I had my daughter, Anita, with me five days over Christmas. As always, it had mixed results: some good and some not so good.”


Hi Fritzie,

Busy day ahead. Daughter Amy and her daughter Mia may be coming for coffee. Next, I am visiting a friend in a retirement home two bus rides away.

After that, I’ll take a bus to Manor, a popular local department store to buy a gift for a friend who is having a birthday party this evening. She asked me to make my cheesecake to bring.

It’s always a bugger to make but also very popular! This time making it was something of a disaster.

I was putting it into the fridge when I saw on a shelf the cream I had forgotten to add. I tried to partially scoop, partially pour the main part out to mix in the cream.

Unfortunately, all the crust fell out, too! (It was much darker than usual because I had earlier forgotten to remove it from the oven!)

Anyway, instead of a lovely bottom crust, the cheesecake has little dark spots spread all through the filling.

Want the recipe?

A la prochaine!


Betsy (Dec. ‘16) adds, “Forgetfulness maybe be ‘funny,’ but it ain’t fun!”


Dear Fritzie,

Yes, I still am active in garage sales. Although I cannot lift anything, I am the best money-taker there is and always give someone a deal at my sales. I count out change. It’s a lost art. The little kids just stare when I do it.

My slow healing continues, I have done countless projects. Instead of cleaning my house, I have decided to decorate my soul.

I have decorated birdbaths, painted vases and dishes and made wonderful whimsical shell decorations. I get lost in my art. I think that’s good.


Jodi (Dec. ‘16) adds, “I just want to be ‘me’ in some healed way.”




Dear Francianna,

My husband is terribly ill and probably not going to get better.  He cannot do anything for himself, not even to stand up.   

When my sister died last spring, she left me her cat, Bailey. The animal is my husband’s constant companion and a most unusual animal. 

Bailey is on the bed with Hank all day long.  (I even have to bring her food in to the bedroom as she won’t leave him!)  

Please keep my husband, Bailey and me in your prayers. 


Louise (Dec. ‘16) adds, “We have a health care aide 3 days a week. Since he hit his head, that is not enough.”


Wow, Frances!

Who pushed the fast forward button? 2017 is here! One long ago day, I sketched tiny designs around year numbers, especially the zeros, because they needed “dressing” up (each number had its own personality.) I was still in school, then, and listening to the teacher was so boring. I remember her talking but her voices, as well as other teachers, came out like rahnrahnrahn (Like the adults’ talking on the old Charlie Brown cartoons.) Maybe the other kids in class were thinking about careers and retirement and kids and grandkids. Some of the girls were probably planning their hope chests.

I was thinking about living at a remote lighthouse or in a cabin on the top of a mountain.

That was then…


Malaina (Dec. ‘16) adds,”I didn’t even dwell on thoughts of kids until my two came along.”


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