around the frame dec 2017 – our experiences

frost on florida grass


Funny! When I first saw the pic with your Mid-month Reflection (before I read it was frost) I gasped and got nervous. Thought it was a flood.! Lol.

We had our first snow that left about half an inch of large flakes on my yard here last week. It was lovely but only lasted about 2 hours. We also had our first taste of old man winter with temps in the 20s!


CaT (Nov. ‘17) adds, “Keep warm!”


Dear Frances–

It’s funny how past realities colors our perceptions. When I first looked at your Nov. ‘17 Mid-month Reflection photo taken from your balcony, my immediate response was “flood!” Then I realized I was seeing frosty grass and not rippling water.

I wish you and yours a peaceful and delightful holiday



Liz/Moascar ( Nov. ‘17) adds, “We don’t get much frost here in Southern California–thankfully! But your photo briefly brought to mind the hurricane floods I saw in Key West.” 


Dear Frances,

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Your fall necklace of peace is showing!  We value the precious wisdom flowing through your capable hands in the form of Ninepatch every month.  Thank you.



Gail (Oct. ‘17)adds, “…and to all Ninepatchers, may your holidays be merry and bright!”


Our table and another at work.Our table and another at work.

Dear Frances,

Reading June’s “Hurricane Diary I” reminded me of our experience with Irma in Northern Florida. It had slowed to a Level 1 before it came through here.

We had no major damages–but the wind and rain were very scary. A limb fell on the car. Our yard flooded to our door but no water came inside. The septic tank didn’t work until things dried out.

Phones and DSL were if-y. Sometimes they worked sometimes they didn’t.

Because of flooding, roads north of us were closed. We could not take birthday presents to my granddaughter. They waited in our living rooms for several weeks.

What a time!

Peace and blessings,


Joanie (Nov. ‘17) adds, “Hurricanes beat snow! The birthday presents were finally delivered.”


Dear Franceslatefalldays,

I was fascinated by your story of wrapping quilts. You do find some interesting activities to participate in!

Glad to know that Brian’s son, Wally, is back. I think that would be so worrisome to have a child leave home under unhappy circumstances.

It was interesting to read the experiences with Hurricane Irma. My house in Key West sustained some roof damage. The island was incredibly lucky this time and missed the leading edge of the storm and the massive destruction that accompanied it.

Many more trees came down. I thought we had lost all of the grand old trees in Hurricane George. Apparently there were more that succumbed this time around, including two that crashed into Shel Silverstein’s former house. I was so thankful that the house did not flood again though.

Love, and joy,


Liz (Nov. ‘17) adds, “Some hiking friends and I are talking about walking part of the Camino Santiago in Spain and Portugal next year. The main route is 500 miles long. We are thinking of walking only a portion of it. The Camino is now associated with Saint James but has its origins in pre-Christian times. Time to get into training for successive day hikes!”

Liz (left) in her “Happy Place,” Torrey Pines, with friend, Trish

Liz (left) in her “Happy Place,” Torrey Pines, with friend, Trish


Hi Frances,

In our family, we have two Christmases. To beat the travel rush, each year we travel to see family in New York on the first weekend of December. We do a full Christmas celebration there: relatives, food and a big gift exchange!

It really messes with my mind. By then, we’ve decorated our tree at home, made Christmas cookies and ornaments, and wrapped gifts.

By the time we’re back, it feels like Christmas ought to be over, but there are still three weeks or so until “real” Christmas. That’s when we go to church for the special music performances and Santa brings gifts for the kids.



Christa (Sept. ‘17) adds, “There’s plenty more to do in December, too. Our dance studio has a holiday show. My daughter and I are usually in multiple dances each! It feels like there’s always something happening!”


Dear Frances,

Some days I know myself –or some part of myself!

Today I realize I am a wannabe-hermit living on some Northeast Pee-aye mountain.

When I am not chasing evil chipmunks, leaping over vast quantities of jewel weed, coaxing a spider out of a potted plant or running screaming from a snake, I try to clean house.

I say “try.” I usually give up after five infernal, eternally long minutes. Instead, I drag out my quilting paraphernalia or crank up the old lawn mower (sans its mowing blades) to blow away small twigs.


Malaina ( Nov. ‘17) adds, “Yeppers! All of that is more exciting than loading the dishwasher, filling the washing machine or staring a dirty floor in the face–if it had a face.”


Good morning, Frances:

Thanks for the kind words on my poem. (Nov. ‘17) So much stuff came up that morning. I was simply overwhelmed and the poem was a way to deal with it.

These social upheavals are like shaking a bottle with debris that has settled. What I thought had cleared was just lurking and ever present, waiting for the right trigger. The poem was a way to combat and re-frame the memories. Although I felt pretty

desperate when it happened, I am now empowered by my process. I can’t change those incidents, but I can examine them and not blame myself.

It sounds like you are challenged by your efforts to self-publish. Indeed, they call it “work” for a reason! (Hope that you have figured out some of he technical difficulties.) Challenging as it is, there seem to be lessons there, too. Not that the lessons are anything that you signed up for! ?



Linda Rosenthal (Nov. ‘17) adds, “I get frustrated when I can’t figure something out and there is no one to ask. I end up walking away and coming back a day or two later when suddenly, I see the answer.”


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