around the frame apr 2019 – our experiences


I enjoyed the Mid-month story of your puppy, Bootsie, but was sad she had to sleep alone. I always slept with my dogs, but I understand many dog-owners don’t. I even slept with Tyke, my last toy poodle. I had him seventeen years.

Tyke really was my husband’s dog. Chuck got him because he had to retire early due to his cancer. Everyone his age was working. Tyke took away the loneliness.

Dottie ?

Dottie (Mar.’19) adds,

Visiting my sister, I went along to her book club. They had read Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I had read it, too. The book centers on the rape of a 15-year-old girl and emphasizes the great harm gossip and judging without the facts does. I enjoyed lots of good discussion.”


Hi Fritzie,

That Feb.’19 Mid-month, “Bootsie” was the cutest story.  I always had puppies growing up.  Mom raised Collies. I loved them all. 

I also love my cats.  I have always had an animal in my home.

Hope all is well missy.

Talk to you later.


Patricia (Feb.’19) adds, “Now that I have my grandson’s cat, Tara, I think I have a friend for life. She sleeps with me and glares at Mr. Gray when he sits on my lap. Mr. Gray is aging but still our baby!”


Dear Frances,

  I enjoyed your Mid-Month reflection; that was a cute story about Bootsie. 


JunePoucher (See her poem in THREADS.) adds, “Pets bring us so much pleasure.”


Dear Frances,

Sending you this note to thank you for including my poems in your newsletter. You do such a nice service.

I could relate to your story

about looking for a photo.

I am looking for a box of pictures and one or more of a close friend who is dying. I got up in the middle of the night and took all the boxes down from shelves, looking.

I never found the photos.


Gayle Bluebird (See her poem in THREAD.) adds, “Just back from a cruise. Fun!”


Dear Fritzie,

I just returned from a visit to my sister in Chicago.  While there, I enjoyed tramping through the snow and seeing my breath for the first time in three+ years and watching a beautiful six-inch snowfall.  Believe it or not I do miss the seasons, esp. winter (not the shoveling, just the quiet of a snowfall or the grandeur of a nor’easter blizzard off the Maine coast!)  Glad I got a taste of it once again.  

When you sent your story and request to use my name and picture, I loved reading about your search for the photos from the Quilt Sale!  It certainly brought back my own memories of living and working in Goshen in my late 40’s!  Lots of water over the dam since then!  

I had no idea you were still publishing Ninepatch … good for you! 

Peace and love,


Mary (Oct.’96) adds, “I’m in a writing group now and working on my own memories (and those of my siblings) about our mother’s cooking and baking.  It will be a collection of each of our favorite recipes from Mom and the individual memories that attend them.  So wonderful to be with others who are pursuing their own writing.”


Dear Frances,

You are right. I am having trouble with” people who I can count on.”

My brother Bill and his wife are off to Florida for the winter. There is no longer a Steve to fall back on. (Their son Steve died since last year.) A good point is, my brother David said he will try to help me out. Of course, there are also people at my church who may help out.

Mostly I stay home. I have gotten “cabin fever” from weather keeping me in, I do enjoy my walks. I entertain myself reading and doing my craft projects.

Love and Prayers,


LindaSue (See her Self-Discovery Game this issue.) adds, “I do have a TV, but I don’t watch it much. I like listening to Christian music instead.”


Dear St. Frances,

April is the month of opening, when nature literally reawakens –at least, in our Northeastern mountains. Spring growth is pushing up and out and over us. On my section of the mountain, the crocuses are in bloom, with the forsythia covered in bright yellow blossoms, and the little glories-of-the-snow dotting parts of the yard. I normally see them peek up through snow but no cold white stuff this year.

However, we still have the rest of this month and May to get through! With the weather here being somewhat fickle at best and stormy at most, who knows!

So, enjoy whatever beauty you see! Take a breather. Sit back and put your feet up while reading!


Malaina (Mar. ‘19) adds, “This is one long winter. I’ve been looking for spring since after the holidays. Argh. Even the outdoor kitty who is inside most of the time went out last Monday and managed to stay out for twenty seconds before running back in. He zipped by me awful fast.”


Dear Frances,

Since my housemate/ friend’s death, I’ve been haunted by what I know are my own mind’s “ghosts,” a combination of basic beliefs and images “planted” by popular media. Now, every sound, shadow, and night-blacked window presents some horrible possibility for him to reach out to me from beyond the grave. (Knowing that it’s just my imagination,doesn’t make it any easier to be alone in the house.)

However, it did help when I visited his sister-in-law. I learned that she’s been going through the same sort of thing. In her case, though, she’d actually been seeing a shadow moving around her home, and getting ‘messages,’ which she says are ‘freaking’ her out. She’s interpreting them as his attempts to tell her that “everything’s going to be okay.” 

As concerned as I am for her, the selfish part of me was relieved, because his being at her house meant I could convince myself that he isn’t at mine. Still, I wished that I could get a message, too, to know that things would be “OK” for me, as well.

Then, while cleaning the house recently to “show” it to a prospective housemate, I got one! Earlier this week, someone told me that spirits use dimes as “markers” or “messages.” I found one! It was with a Percocet. (One of the medications he used.) It appeared right behind me on a floor I’d just cleaned!!


White Percocet on left large dime on right
White Percocet on left large dime on right

Lynn D. (Mar.’19) adds, “I’m still working on stepping away from the recent drama around me.”


Dear Frances,

Looking back, it’s not hard to miss the signs that my husband was seriously failing. Harry had been on oxygen for several months, but his lung capacity diminished to the point where walking to the car and going anywhere had become too difficult. He had decided not to drive anymore. 

But, we had lots of company, family and friends, especially over the winter holidays. Last Christmas, we put up our outside Christmas tree, the nicest one we’ve ever had- a soft-needled Frazer with all new decorations and nearly a thousand lights.

Recently, we have been taking our life one day at a time, trying to make it the very best of our capability. Our family has helped out with much-needed assistance in several areas.

The days together have been beautiful so far.

We are grateful.

       God bless!


Gail (Mar.’19) says, “Today we ordered a walker and wheelchair in case of need. I’m trying not to think beyond our present life together. He has had to make end-of-life decisions in writing. There are still some loose ends. So much to do and so little time.  (How often I think that.)  I’m no spring chicken myself. I have health challenges, including too-old teeth and other la-dee-dahs! (I can’t forget to laugh and know that everything Is in Divine Order.)”


Dear Fritzie,

I keep thinking of my mother when you describe your recent house chores: washing throw rugs, putting polish on your wood floors and bleaching your driveway. You don’t kid around, nor did she.  

I’ve had to do a deep cleaning in preparation for house guests—sort of a spring cleaning. I live with some clutter, so I needed the kick in the pants which comes with preparing for guests.

Have you heard of Marie Kondo? She wrote a best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2011. Now she has a reality-type series on Netflix called, “Tidying Up.” In it she teaches homeowners of every description how to de-clutter.

I watched a few episodes and learned to approach de-cluttering in a new way.

Elaine (Mar.’19) adds, “Once my guests are gone and I need to clean again, I’m going to give her method a try!”


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