around the frame may 2019 – our experiences

dancers in blue and white

Dear Frances,

It was a tough winter. We had snow most every day, plus wind and cold temperatures. I was happy to see the robins in March and know spring was finally here!”

Mothers’ Day is this month! My mother and my mother-in-law, both grandmothers and all my aunts on my mother’s side have passed away.

I never hear from my younger daughter on Mother’s Day, but my older girl, Anita, remembers me. She always sends me two Mothers’ Day cards. One is from her and the other is from her cat, my “funny grandchild!”

Love and Prayers,


LindaSue (Apr. ‘19) adds, “I got to thinking about ‘The Blue Pattern’ Mid-month story from Mar.’19. Isn’t it funny how an ad or a song can bring back memories from the past!”



Good evening dear Frances,

I received the all Ninepatch newsletters you have sent. I sure do enjoy reading the articles.

I look forward to each one that comes, but I got quite a laugh over your article “The Birthday Toilet.” However,I’m certain it wasn’t funny at the time.

There was still a great lesson to be learned from it.


Meschelle Amber (Jan.’19) adds, “We now have red breasted robins and also sparrows as well as other birds visiting us. Our temperatures still range from a low of 30 up to 70 and back again. I hope the cold weather is nearly gone!”


grocery cart

St. Frances,

I remember that movie, “Pay It Forward,” but I was giving that way for a long time before.


Malaina (See FABRICS) adds, “A severe thunder storm with tornadoes two nights ago pulled ‘green’ from hibernation! Yard and pastures turned green and literally overnight buds are “fuzzing” the trees and bushes.”



Many years ago, I think it was around Mother’s Day, my younger son and I were eating in a restaurant named Mangrove Mama’s in upper Sugarloaf Key. It is about twenty miles from Key West.

The food was great and the atmosphere was funky! We enjoyed our dinner and chatted away. When we were ready to leave, I asked for the check.

The server told me that a fellow customer had paid it for us. I asked her to identify the customer so that I could express my thanks. The server pointed to a woman sitting at another table.

When I thanked her, this kind benefactor told me, “You and your son looked so sweet sitting and enjoying dinner together.”

I was so touched by her generous example of paying it forward. I try to do the same by providing meals for homeless people and donating to various food banks.


Liz/Moascar (See her other letter.) adds, “I find that when my ego wants to get too demanding, purchasing food and delivering it to food banks and resource centers usually quells the savage ego beast.”


Happy Monday, Frances!

Last Thursday, I attended a friend’s memorial service and reminded myself that every day is a gift. With that in mind, on Saturday morning I went out to breakfast with hubby, then to a flower show at the downtown art museum.  

It’s an annual show, and lots of fun. Floral designers create outrageously lavish and exotic arrangements to mimic paintings and sculpture.

I spent the afternoon at a local stamp show and purchased close to a couple hundred stamps.  Some were quite pretty, but most were ones I don’t have.  (They will fill holes in my collection.)  I still collect world-wide, but am starting to focus on a few countries.  Some are countries my daughter has visited, some just make great stamps.  Germany and England fall into the latter category.

I found the last stamps I was looking for to illustrate my memoir.  I want to finish filing my new acquisitions before resuming work on my stamp memoir.

Take good care.

Thanks for Ninepatch, and I hope to see you soon.

Love always,



Dear Frances,

My life is slowly getting easier now that my new room-mate, Janice, has moved in. Knowing I have a tenant and don’t have to do without the rent is a big relief. Janice seems to be fairly easy to live around, too.

Of course, I still think of Zig often, but the fear or anxiety is lessening with time.

Thanks for your kind encouragement and understanding. 



Lynn D. (Apr.’19) adds, “Took a break from paperwork and worked in the yard, today. It was warm enough to strip down to a ‘hoodie’, which is exciting. As I burned leaves and twigs, the smell of the smoke reminded me of my recently departed roommate, Zig, who was such a fire bug. I still miss him so much! I suppose that he’s at peace now, though, and I have to find a way to be, too.”


Dear Franaspringdays,

I am still struggling with my challenges, among them the big tax bill. (Did I tell you that it began with a “friend’s” betrayal?)

Stress took me out, health-wise. Finally, a herbalist made me a special drink that eventually helped.

And rain! We had lots of it. The deluge washed out my weekend hiking. I was spiraling down.

Trying to have faith and maintain a positive attitude, I took what action I could. I wrote to my senators and congressional representative about the taxes. (And had replies!) I also contact-ed tax advocates and IRS. Now I just wait to see how it all unfurls.

  That rain made all the flowers bloom and everything is so green!

<3 Luv,


Green mountains taken on a hike in March.

Liz/Moascar (Jan. ‘19) adds, “California is now officially out of its seven-year drought. This is the most rain I’ve experienced since I moved here.”


Hi Frances,

I’m Harry’s legs now, doing what he did as well as my own things. He also has Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) probably from smoking — same as me. Both our mothers died from the disease –smokers, also. 

We’ve had many visitors. We continue forward!

God bless,


Gail (Apr.’19) says, “I am so tired at night I fall asleep reading. It took me two months to finish Kingsolver’s book, Unsheltered.


Hi Fritzie,

  Just received April’s Ninepatch which is always interesting.  

One year past, late April to early May 2018, I recruited six Mennonites from New Mexico (one woman). Four of the men had good carpentry/construction skills.  In ten days, we framed in a house and put in windows and doors, roof trusses, and completed the total roof with shingles. This was on the Lakota Sioux reservation, Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  

This home was for a single mother with two kids.  In July, they moved in from a really trashy trailer. They had indoor plumbing for the first time ever.  

Mennonite Disaster Service built nine homes at Pine Ridge from March thru October.  This summer there’s similar building at that site.  

I am not going. Two damaged nerves to a foot causes me great instability. I could not move around on the work site.

Instead of feeling sorry for self, I often reflect on what a wonderful life of adventures I have enjoyed.  



Jim (July’18) adds, “Growing up I played every sport in every season while working on a poultry farm. I also spent forty years working in international agriculture. Topping it off, I had the opportunity to climb mountains (trekking not technical climbs). Three times I was up over 18,000 ft: Mt. Kilimanjaro, Annapurna base camp and just below Everest base camp.

I also enjoyed many project-related treks in Nepal where we would spend seventeen days walking between villages in the mountains.”  

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