around the frame – sep 2020

Dear Frances,
Back again! Here’s my response to the August Nine-patch. The monkey you sent is right in front of me. Thank you. It reminds me when I was young, we could walk safely in our small city. A frequently visited place was a zoo with a monkey house! Lots of hijinks. (It smelled – but who cared!) They were cute and as curious about us as we were about them!
Love you,
Nancyann
Nancyann (Aug.’20) adds, “Due to the pandemic my husband and I are mostly staying home. We’ve both found the new life has grown quite comfortable.”

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Hi Fritzie –
I received Ninepatch in late day mail delivery and en-joyed your “A Curbside Library” article.
As of this writing, our library is open to fifty people at a time. I am happy to be able to browse again!
I ventured out into the heat and humidity because a library book I reserved was available, The Persuasion by Iris Johansen. I like the author and saw a bit about her new book.
I am still buying used books, too. I really enjoyed, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Café by Mary Simses, 2013. The author’s first book is fiction and takes place in Beacon, Maine. She included a blueberry muffin recipe at the end of the book! What fun!
Blessings,
Kay
Kay (Aug.’20) adds, “Here in my Indiana county, our virus count is up and masks are mandatory. But no fines are incurred for not wearing, so many are not wearing them. Frustrating.”

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Fritzie,
I’m wondering if you are still glad you stayed in Florida this summer since it is now such a COVID hot spot! Of course, where I live in Indiana is also a hot spot now. Luckily, with our mandatory mask requirement about everyone is wearing one. (It’s very difficult for me so I’m not going to many stores just out to eat since I can get in without a mask.)
Glad you have your friends to connect with on Zoom. Not seeing people makes my days long.
I really miss the social inter-action. My husband and I do go to friends’ houses for cards and a meal. That helps. It’s just really a bad time with no end in sight!
On a brighter note, I just finished The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson. I really enjoyed it – it’s based on true facts and is very historical.
Hope you are both con-tinuing to stay well!
Muffin
Muffin (Aug. ‘20) adds, “Sorry to hear you are mostly confined in isolating – at least you can get out to the grocery and CVS!”

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Dear Frances,
I think the cartoon you attached to the front of my Ninepatch would make a great monthly question for your fe-male readers: “Do you like women? What were you taught about women?” The women’s calendar cartoon shows two women talking to one another in a living room. One is seated on a sofa, the other sits at a right angle in a soft chair. One woman is asking the other the two ques-tions above.
I think back to my child-hood about what my mother taught me – indirectly – about having girlfriends. My mother had lady friends and joined women’s clubs. She encouraged me to have girlfriends and go play with them. However, she didn’t much like me to invite my friends over. Consequently, I am not a very good hostess.
Yes, I like women, but I would spin the cartoon different-ly. Women can flirt and com-pete for male attention, which is what the character’s body lan-guage shows as she crosses her legs and dangles her shoe off her toe.
Girlfriends are more sup-portive. They break bread, en-courage, listen, go for walks, inspire, share, and play togeth-er. Of course, they can, also coach each other about femin-inity. We choose what we take away.
Carol
Carol (May ‘20) adds, “Women / girlfriends are my lifeline to sanity and happiness.”

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Dear Frances,
Thanks for your letter. In terms of planning, I never know what I will be doing each day. Yesterday and today I spent most of the day with my one brother. He had been away in Florida and felt bad that he was just getting to see me for the first time since the COVID 19 virus mess.
We went for a walk in the park where we played when we were kids. Next, we took a long ride in the country by the land where the house we grew up in used to be. (It’s all condos now.)
Last, we went to the cemetery and Mom and Dad’s graves. Lots of memories!
Usually, I miss seeing others in person! Most of my connections are over the phone since I don’t drive and have no computer.
Be safe! Take care!
God bless you!
LindaSue
LindaSue (Aug.’20 adds, “Last Sunday, I went to a friend’s house and we watched our church service over online Facebook! Double fun: being with a friend and the service!”

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Hey Francesurfsup!
Here in Southern California I am still enjoying social distancing hikes with my friends. I wear a mask to pull up when others come nearby but it is staggering to me how many people are out and about without one.
I was back in Sedona, Arizona last month and I was surprised that most people in stores were not masked. Covid 19 cases were going up in that state while we were there and have also surged since.
It seems like a wise pre-caution to shelter in place and not visit up North. It’s a pity you will miss visiting your boys though. My younger son is still staying with me but working and surfing.
Love and hugs to you and JK.
Stay Safe!
Liz
Liz/Moascar (June’20) adds, “Sedona landscape is certainly beautiful. My friends and I hiked every day! (I hope you do get a chance to visit soon.)”
That’s me on the right in pink!

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Hi Frances
We are having Florida-like weather here in the North: very hot. No rain, though. It’s tough to work out in it for long. My husband and I don’t spend much time outside on jobs each day and consequently they take longer. But taking longer is better than heat stroke /exhaustion!
We are re-thinking whether we will go south or southwest this winter. The states we would travel to are rife with Covid-19. Although we spend a lot of time in remote-ish areas, we still have to go to civilization for food, laundry, etcetera. I’m not sure we’re ready to take chances this winter.
People are apparently careless with others’ health. We would be devastated if we caught this virus. The jury is still out on our trip, but we’re leaning against it. Who knows what will happen this autumn” But things don’t look good now.
Life is good, despite the heat and virus problems. We are fortunate that our business can be done out-of-doors. In the meantime, we’ll keep doing one day at a time.
Stay safe, my friend. I do hope things get better in Florida.
Best regards,
Linda
Linda Rosenthal (Aug.’20) adds, “We’re doing okay financially unlike others in Michigan.”

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Hi Fritzie!
I gather you are aware classmates are going to start meeting again for breakfast once a month. I know I won’t be going ‘til the COVID thing calms down. Too much general exposure.
I have a bridal shower in Indy this weekend for my granddaughter. I (and I heard everyone else) will be wearing a mask. And if weather permits, the shower will be outside.
I understand special con-sideration has been given to how food is handled and how the “silly” bridal games proceed.
I hope all of that makes me feel comfortable. (I guess it’s up to me to make sure my actions take safety into con-sideration at all times.)
Thanks for staying in touch!
Love,
Chantal
Chantal (Aug.’20) adds, “I think Ninepatch is really a beneficial way for people to stay in touch and perhaps feel less isolated. Props to you!”

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Dear Frances,
Things are happening. Our cat, Holly, had a bunch of bad teeth pulled and is recuperating. (She’s doing OK.)
I had a trip to the dentist a couple of weeks ago. They have this crazy gadget that is like a snorkel that holds your mouth open, your tongue back and sucks your breath into a tube so that you do not breathe into the face of the doctor. Glad I am not claustrophobic!
My husband has a kind of leukemia (CLL) and it is kicking up. I plan on cancelling our trip to Colorado. (Got the trip insur-ance out to see what the rules are so I don’t flub up.) I’m sorry to be missing this trip but I don’t want to go alone.
I also started going through our safe to get stuff I need for the REAL ID for traveling that is required when I renew my drivers’ license in October. Because of COVID, the appointments are few and far between so I figure I best get on it.
My work is good. Health is good. Still working on clean-ing out closets, mourning tossing out perfectly good stuff. Thrift stores are only open in short bursts and are picky about what they take.
Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I’m in need right now.
Blessings, Georgene
Georgene (Aug.’20) adds, “When I was cleaning, I threw out all my cut-and-paste art/therapy. That was very hard to do. A lot of soul searching in those pages.”

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Hello Fritzie,
From the things you write in Ninepatch, you sound busy. I’ve sometimes wondered if you have had second thoughts about not going to Indiana. If my re-collection is correct, that deci-sion was made primarily on the driving challenges. But as I think about it, it probably had to do with family, too, because you just can’t be sure of social dis-tancing and mask-wearing in the extended family.
Like many women, my last haircut was in January. So, I’m looking a bit strange. I’m hoping by Christmas I’ll have enough hair to pull back softly. I’ve come close to having it cut short again but since I’ve lasted this long, I think I can make it a while longer.
It feels like the joke is on me. For many years I’ve been keeping my hair styled and now I’m a Raggedy Ann. It’s a good lesson in humility.
Elaine
Elaine (June ‘20) adds, “This week I attended an online Zen Buddhist meditation session from home. This was a comfort-table way to ease into the small group. I’ve taken related courses and have decided to pursue this, at least for a while. My goal here isn’t lofty. My de-sired result is to still my mind and benefit from the mind-body connection.”

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