mid-month game

Dear Readers and E- readers, 

    Ever spin your tires in mud, sinking sand or snow, unable to get traction?

    Frustrating, right?  You work and work. Sometimes you are lucky and grab a toehold. Other times you call for help, still others you work yourself out of the spot.  I recall in my early Northern snowy adventures, I drove forward and back, rocking the car until I –somehow– dove out of the bad spot.

 I was in such a frustrating spot when I came back to Florida in 2017. I was working hard, but going nowhere. Thus, I did not even remember the 2018 game I normally send in the December issue– the Ninepatch GIFT to readers.

 I found it last week. (Since I remembered how busy am when I first return to Florida I had it prepared before I left Indiana.)

 As I said, it’s a game, a get- to- know- yourself- better game designed for your response.     I suggest 1) print the game pages so you can draw /write your answer before you see the game authors’ suggested solutions.  OR, get a piece of paper to respond  when you see the empty box designed for responses.

It’s really more “fun” if you don’t look ahead.

 As always there is no “right” answer.  I  look forward to readers’ results and hope you will share!

 It’s never too late! Merry 2018 Christmas!  The game follows my name.

 Blessings***Frances Fritzie      


Dear Readers,

         Here is yet another game from Kokology, The Game of Self-Discovery, the first book by Tadahiko Nagao and Isamu Saito.

 I chose one I hope you can (and will) draw! I love to see readers’ sketches and hope you will play along with me.  

       This game brought me to my favorite place to visit. I have always felt it was the breath-taking lime, aqua and royal blue colors of Gulf of Mexico’s Florida beaches that touched me so deeply. However, perhaps there is more to it.

As always, I hope the game will help you know yourself better! 

Frances Fritzie

Editor of Ninepatch


Imagine a clear blue sky without a cloud in sight. Just thinking about it should gie your spirits a little lift. Now turn your mind’s eye down to survey the landscape. Which of the following scenes feels most calming and relaxing to you?

1. A white snowy plain.

2. A blue seascape.

3. A green mountain.

4. A field of yellow flowers.

Draw whatever you see below before turning over the page for an explanation.

( My response is a photo of the Gulf at Anna Maria Island, Florida)

“The color blue has power to soothe the soul. Even a blue image in the mind can slow the pulse and make you take a deep breath. Other colors have significance, too.  The scene you pictured contrasts against that clear blue sky reveals a hidden talent that resides in the depths of your untroubled mind.

1.       A white snowy plain.

Your are blessed with a special sensitivity that allows you to comprehend situations

at a glance and decipher complex problems without needing any proof or

explanation.  You have what it takes to be a clear-sighted decision maker and even

something of a visionary. Always trust your first intuitions; they will guide you well.

2.       A blue seascape.

You have a natural talent for interpersonal relations. People respect your ability to communicate with others and the way you help bring diverse groups together. Just by being around, you help others work more smoothly and efficiently, making you an invaluable member of any project or team. When you say, ‘Nice job. Keep up the good work.’ People know you mean it. So it means that much more to them.”

3.       A green mountain.

Your gift is for expressive communication. You always seem be able to find the words to express the way you feel, and people soon realize it’s exactly how they were feeling, too. They say that joy shared is multiplied, while shared grief is divided. You always seem able to help others find the right side of that equation.

4.       A field of yellow flowers.

             You are a storehouse of knowledge and creativity, bursting with ideas and almost

               infinite potential. Keep attuned to the feelings of others and never stop working on

                     building your dream and there is nothing you cannot achieve.


Dear Readers,

When I read this game, I imagined my favorite vacation spot where my younger son and I go nearly every year for a long weekend –after the peak season.  However, when I read what the Kokology authors wrote about the seascape, I could hardly believe it described me.   

Maybe my attachment to the sea is more about being on vacation—not cooking or running errands,. A Gulf Beach is where I imagine going for consolation if I were in dire trouble and for generally being closer to my Higher Power.

Thanks for playing the game! I am eager to see your choices and hope you will haul out your colored pencils or markers. (A magazine photo would do as well.)



Following are our Facebook Ninepatch Topics for January 2019.

Week 1: “As I grow older, I am looking forward to…”

Week 2: “The way I like to eat a sandwich is…”

Week 3: “The last time I really had fun was…”

Week 4: “My first kiss…”

We look forward to seeing your responses!


Following are several detailed comments from ourNinepatch Facebook Group topic,Memorable teachers.”

Georgene (See Monthly Question) “Fred Jacobs, hands down! I had a monster school girl crush. Mr. Jacobs was my teacher for high school 
American History, Government, Sociology –anything he taught. Eight years after high school I ran into Fred and we went out for a drink, which led to a few dates, and finally a talk about our age difference. (15 years, if I remember right). He let me down easy but I held that torch for a long time. Great teacher and a very nice man.”


Simon Stargazer III (See his poem in THREAD.): “My favorite high school teacher was Paul Zavits who taught Physics, Chemistry and Shop in ways that truly related to the real world. (I was the only one in my class who could run up almost vertical stairs fast enough to generate horsepower!) I also learned about the piezo-electric, a characteristic of quartz crystals. Doppler effects are based on these characteristic’s behaviors. I later used these ideas in my Ultrasound careers.

Of course I learned which elements could be used to create fun powder (slow-burning gun powder) that burned in different colors without blowing me up! That was great for homemade Roman Candles in my dorm room and set off in the middle of campus to impress my girlfriend! Oh yeah, and Shop taught me how to do repairs and projects around home without visiting the ER!”


Gail (Nov.’18) “The question asking about our favorite teacher reminded me of Mr. Paul Brooks, my Sophomore Plane Geometry teacher, whose favorite line as he chalked the formulas on the blackboard, was, “Now, can’t you see the logic of this!” 

He would say it with a big appealing athletic-looking smile.  Math of any ilk was not my favored subject, but he made math more interesting, showing that there was a reliable formula to solve a problem, math being the only exact science.

English was my favorite subject.  I love words. Vocabulary words to memorize was a fun way to learn.  Our English teacher was excellent.  She gave us the assignment of practicing our weekly words on our fellow students.  ‘Scintillating’ was one of my sparkling stand-out enjoyable words to share.  ‘You gave a scintillating account of cheer-leaders performance last night!’   She taught a Shakespeare play each of our four years in high school.”


Our topic for this month is the question,”If neither time nor money were an issue, what do you think would be the most enjoyable way to travel from New York to California? 

           Our Ninepatch treasurer Georgene (Oct.’18) responds to the travel question above. “I can’t imagine driving coast-to-coast in a car unless I had no time deadline

and a bucket of money for hotels and activities along the way. But, even then, the packing and unpacking would make me crazy.

Driving a motor-home would be an annoyance due to parking and route limitations.

What I would gain in packing convenience I would lose in access restrictions.

Traveling by a private jet would be the most enjoyable. In my business life, one time I experienced flying on “the company plane.” The elite terminal with its close-in parking and snack amenities made airport time a breeze! The food, drink and freedom to move around the plane made the flight time comfortable.

Again, I would need a bucket of money to pay for the plane and everything I would need/want and do once I got to my destination. However, the coast-to-coast trip would be most enjoyable!”


Our January ‘19 topic will continue and the new February topic is, “I feel most at peace when I…”


I don’t know him.
Billy Goat Gruff
Resists anyone
Getting close –

I avoided knowing him,

Except on occasions.

Now without his asking,
I am still the one left –
In a hospital bed

I might have to sit beside,
Me with my own lists
Of people turned away–

I have a suitcase being 

Knitting needles,
Washable wool,

Paper for poems
And pens,

I am supposed to learn 
In life I have avoided,
My brother lost.. 
and finding…

Gayle Bluebird (Dec.’18) adds, “Finding out my brother was in a hospital was a shock though I knew he had been ill. (Funny because he never wanted to admit health problems.)  I had a sense this was serious and that I would be with him for a while.  To be honest I looked forward to it and it did work out that way. There are more poems written.  Contact me at gaylebluebird1943@gmail.com


I Am love.

When I walk, I Am

Love walking. When I dance

it is Love who dances.

When I breathe,

Love breathes. When I speak,

Love speaks.

I Am patient. I Am kind.

I do not envy, nor do I boast.

I Am not self-seeking, but for the One. I Am

not easily angered. I keep

no record

of wrongs.

I do not delight in evil, but

through the illusion of that which

I Am not, have I come

to rejoice in the truth of who I Am.

I stand naked.

I always protect, yet all things

I hold

with an open hand. I always let go,

always trust, always hope

I soothe. I amend. I always persevere.

I never fail.

Nothing will ever get in the way

of the Love that I Am.

Nothing can be added

or subtracted from me.

I Am whole and complete,

at home in the expanse

of the One.

Brian Janisse ( Dec.’18) adds, “While meditating on 1 Corinthians 13, I had the notion to substitute “I am,” for “Love is,” and the passage became a prayer of affirmation. The One refers to the Absolute, the Source, what Jesus called Alaha, the Oneness or God.” 

Notes: “Re-member” includes paraphrases of the Bible: 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, and Neal Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 1, p.19.


Sometimes presence 

Is the only conversation needed.  

Simon Stargazer III (Dec. ‘18) expands, “The soul speaks out of the silence with quiet wisdom. Or, as Quakers believe, ‘In silence, that still small voice of God speaks to us from within and we may be led to share the experience.’ In practice, silent presence may be the most important when visiting the sick and or elderly… especially family or close friends.”


Editor’s Note: Recently three poems by Sandy Cosgrave, a deceased Ninepatcher, came to me. Following is the last.

My heart moans

With the wind,

Remembering days

Long past,

Faces gone

And vanished in time.

Pain buffets my

Longing, first this

Way, then that,

Sharp, clear, bright.

Memories flash past,

Barely glimpsed,

leaving whirling fragments

of feeling, to linger

in the blue….

The hissing winds of time

Lay bare my soul,

Strip off soft layers

of comfort and lies,

hurl mocking challenge

to my protestations,

toss me willy-nilly

in the direction

they want me to go.


Our last book club read was Humbug: the Unwinding of Ebenezer Scrooge by Tony Bertauski.  It is a modern, somewhat science-fiction retelling of the Dickens classic.  It lands about mid-point on my rating scale from one to ten –ten being I liked it very much. (Part of my issue with it is likely the fact that science fiction is probably my least favorite genre.)

I also recently read (and once I began I realized I’d read it previously) Too Much Money by Dominick Dunne. He is a deceased author I always enjoyed who used to write for “Vanity Fair” magazine.

Right now, I am reading I Want to Show You More Stories by Jamie Quatro. Her collection of short stories deals with fractured marriages, temptation and dark theological complexities. (It isn’t for just anyone.) Story endings are open and generally unresolved which I found somewhat unsatisfying.

I am taking Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand with me to read as I travel south.  It is about Louis Zamperini, who, against all odds, survives his plane crashing into the Pacific during WW II. 

He survives, but his experience drives him to the limits of endurance. 

Chantal (Nov.’18) adds, “The Zamperini story was made into a movie a few years ago, but I did not see it.” 


Happiness comes from within.

James (Dec.’18) adds, “Being comfortable in your everyday experiences leads to happiness.”