February 2018


One day, Bill and I drove out to see the “Cadillac Ranch” a collection of outdoor art work in Amarillo, Texas.

You have to walk about 300 feet to get to them from the road. (They’re in a farm field.) The cars are nose into the ground. There’s not much left of them, other than their shell and they’re thick with paint.

I grabbed a rattle paint can from among the many discarded ones lying around and sprayed my initials and also the word “Fremont” (We live in Fremont, Michigan.) on one of the Caddys for the friends back home.

Bill took a photo of me with the evidence in hand. (See below.)

Linda adds “Fremont.”

Linda adds “Fremont.”

What a delight the day was! The painting graffiti experience reminded me that Bill told me that I am not very inhibited. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not!

We plan to head back to Michigan soon.

Linda Rosenthal (Apr. ‘18) adds, “My leg pain has gotten better. I can’t say that I am 100 percent, but I am progressing. (Once I can read up some, I want to work on my diet and health habits. I know that is contributing to the situation.)”

One of the toughest situations I face is being surrounded by people I don’t know. I want to be friendly, but don’t know what to say. I feel nervous and overloaded on the inside.

During recent travel, I had two flights that were delayed. When I first entered the Sarasota airport, I printed my boarding passes which told me the times and gates for my two departures. I felt secure.

However, in reality I had delays with both my flight and its connection due to weather. Suddenly, I felt anxious. Who is going to sit next to me? Will I say the right things?

At the first gate, I opened my book. Despite the fact the flight was delayed more than 40 minutes, God’s spirit took over and helped me be patient.

Later, I had more worry. I’ll land after midnight! Will my ride from the airport be angry with me? How will I get up for work tomorrow?

Even though I had a lot of time sitting around with folks I didn’t know, everything worked out. I even had opportunities to make friends with a couple of strangers.

Bookworm (May ‘18) adds, “God already knew everything. He knew the situations that were going to occur, what people were going to say, and how I was going to react to situations. God had me in His hands.”


Discovering cookbooks stuffed with recipes cut from newsprint and magazines or handwritten on different types of cards, even written on the pages of the very book, is like finding a treasure to those of us who love cookbooks!

We cookbook readers are sliding out of closets –our interest no longer hidden. We are decking our kitchen with shelves for our huge varieties of cookbooks, antique and modern.

One such cookbook I found stuffed with recipes is titled Cook Book. (How original!) It was compiled by the Presbyterian Ladies’ Aid, Sylvania, PA., and published in 1952. I don’t know if the recipes from the actual publication were prepared or not, but this cookbook was certainly used as a “store house” for many well-used recipes. I am including one:

Nut Cookies

Cream 1 cup shortening and 3 cups brown sugar together until very light. Add 1 cup boiling water and sift together 5 cups pastry flour and one teaspoon of each of the following ingredients: soda, cinnamon, salt. Gradually stir these dry materials into the other mixture and add one cup finely chopped nut meats. Chill the dough. Then roll, cut, sprinkle with sugar and bake in hot oven. Makes large amount. If pastry flour is not available, use 7/8 cup of bread flour for every cup of pastry flour.


Malaina (May’18) publishes a “The Vintage Recipe Newsletter.” If you’d like to be on her mailing list, contact her or get added to the mailing list, write to wbs62@hotmail.com and state your request in the subject line.


(From Palma’s son)

Palma left this earth the morning of March 29 peacefully and gracefully with her daughter Karla at her bedside. We are saddened by our loss but relieved that she no longer has to suffer.

We send blessings and condolences to all of her family and friends.

Palma: A service was held at Friends of the Light, Traverse City, MI on Saturday April 21st.

One of Palma’s last days

One of Palma’s last days

around the frame jun 2018 – our experiences

“Fake” dandelions

“Fake” dandelions

Hi fritzasubbingagain,

Here in Southern California, we’ve not had much rain but wildflowers are blooming! On hikes, we see many of these yuccas covered in their waxy, bell-shaped blooms. (See photo below.)

yucca in bloom

yucca in bloom

My friend, Monica, and I were hiking a local area aptly named elfin forest. The mountainsides were liberally dotted with these blossoms. We saw at least a dozen hummingbirds as they hovered around the flowers and quaffed nectar.

Dandelions and daisies were abundant during my English childhood. We made daisy chains and blew the dandelions puffballs to “tell time” –one hour per puff.

We also uttered our urban myth that those who picked dandelions would wet their bed. But, dandelion greens are tasty; I enjoy their tangy piquancy.

Hope all is well with you.
Love and hugs,

Liz/Moascar (May ‘18) adds, “My younger son has started his college engineering course and is thoroughly enjoying it!”


son's cat 'Tiger'

Hi Fritzie,

So you are bought a Honda CRV. Bob and I bought one, too. If you could have seen the CRV we crashed in, you would have thought the passengers did not come out alive.  It rolled several times and landed on its top. The top did not come down on us.  (Another driver hit us in the back fender and the car flipped.)  

We thought the CRV saved us and looked for another to replace the wrecked one. (We got the same exact year and model.) 

It was prayer that saved us and the car we were in was a real safe vehicle.  

Take care, my friend.


Patricia (May ‘18) adds, “Remember when we got Mr. Gray? That cat is going to be 15 years old.  Hard to believe.  He is a good cat.  He likes to be where we are and most usually lies on Bob’s lap.”


castle tv show poster

Dear Frances,

  I liked your Mid-month Reflection.

The rhymes reminded me of one we used to say in high school. We had a very tough history teacher and said, “When I die, bury me deep; bury my history book at my feet. Tell Miss Godley I’ve gone to rest and won’t be back for history test!”

Bless’d Be,



June Poucher (May ‘18) adds, “Those were fun times. I have to admit I was a little smug about the tests being so easy for me, I studied very little.”


Florida’s 62

Dear Frances,

Your April 2018 article “A Road of Remembering” brought back fond memories. I remember when we went to those dances!

Enjoyed pictures of mutual friends, too.  Those were fun days!  Who knew how soon they would end as all sections of our lives do –eventually.

Well done, Frances!

Blessing to you,


Dottie (Mar. ‘18) adds, Yesterday was an appointment with my son’s cardio surgeon. Sad to hear the surgery or stent, is only to help prevent another stroke.  It will not bring back his left arm/ hand or his energy.  I have been running errands and doing paperwork for my son since his stoke Dec. 9.

Luckily, I have been enjoying planting and eating a few early vegetables in my backyard garden.”  



Dear Fritzie,

I enjoyed the Mar. ‘18 column Muffin wrote on Driving Miss Norma in April 2018’s INSTRUCTIONS. She said it was a “good book” and she should know since she works in a library!


Kay (May ‘18) adds, “I may purchase the book for my Hospice friend, Esther. She loves the care in that hospice and is doing pretty well yet.


Hi Fritzie,

I just finished reading the May ‘18 Ninepatch.

I am happy that you have a car you feel safe and secure driving. The way you went about it is similar to the way I’ve gone about buying a preowned car. I always want to see the Carfax, then I check Kelly Bluebook and also have my trusted mechanic check it out!

I am so sorry about what Palma is going through. Hearing how she’s pulling away from things/people is how I imagine I would be under those circumstances.



Chantal (Apr.) adds, “It’s been beautiful the last few days here in the Northlands … you’d like how it’s been sunny and how pretty all the flowering trees and shrubs have been.”


Hi Fritzie,

You asked if I have a Facebook account. Would you believe I’m not on Facebook? (And no desire to be.) (See next.)

Right now I’m waiting for my second daughter, Amy, to come to spend the night after we eat out. She’s taking a university course. When she has a class in the evening, she stays here rather than driving all the way home. She has the continuation of the class the next morning.

All for now!  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Bises, (A popular Swiss sign off meaning kisses!)


Betsy (Feb.’18) adds, “Tomorrow evening I’m going to a play near downtown Geneva, with my friend Susanne, who lives in the apartment above mine. We’re good friends and usually do something together one night a week.”


Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal.

I’ve tried so hard to keep my teeth!

Born in the days before fluoride was added to our water, my teeth were “soft.” As a kid, I often endured tooth aches and abscesses. Waiting to see the dentist, I chewed baby aspirin and applied clove packs from the medicine cabinet.

Our dentist, Doctor Forney, had served overseas with Daddy during WWII. He and his wife were my folks’ social friends. White-haired, short and square, Doc always smiled at me. When my parents and I visited their house, he offered me soda pop from their pantry. One year, my family and his vacationed on an island in Canada. He taught me how to fish!

I also saw a lot of Doc professionally. Most kids went to their dentist twice a year. Not me. Each check-up led to at least one more visit to fill a cavity –or two. My parents shook their heads at my teeth and kept making dental appointments.

By the time I was 8, I fed our dog, made my own bed and carried a house key around my neck to school. Neither parent had to take off work to go with me to the dentist. I walked half a block from where my parents worked to the tall brick building where Doc had his office. Before I left, Daddy shook his finger at me, “Be brave. No crying!”

Already on the verge, my lips quivered when I tried to smile.

I sniffled long before I reached Doc’s antiseptic-smelling second floor office. Riding up the rattling black-caged elevator, fear rose as my stomach sank. In the waiting area, I turned pages in magazines like I saw others do, but tears of fear leaked onto the glossy pictures.

When the office nurse in her white dress stepped into the waiting room, I trembled. She announced,

“We’re ready for you, Fritzie.”

Following her, my legs wobbled. I entered the room with bright lights and climbed onto “the chair.”

Petrified of shots, I chose to avoid Novocain. I endured drilling by concentrating on Doc’s procedure. First, he prepared the outside of the area to be filled. He called one drill bit a “cross-cut Fisher.” It was like a saw loggers use –it had cutting edges on two sides. That bit was noisy and vibrated, but didn’t hurt. I steeled myself when Doc used “round burr.” It drilled out decay.

When that instrument came out, the office nurse held my left hand. I tensed all my muscles so I would not “jump” when the burr hit a nerve. That’s when I saw the red pain. (Even with my eyes closed, I “saw” a spike of red.)

When my cavity was deep, Doc put in white “cement” before the silver filling. That never hurt. I could tell how big the tooth’s hole was. Sometimes instead of saying, “Mix one,” he told the nurse, “Mix two.”

Before I climbed out of the chair, my reward for enduring was a spray of red cinnamon-flavored Lavoris mouthwash. Mmm!

During my teens, I learned to endure Novocain. The pain-killer made dental visits easier. However by then, h-o-u-r-s of anxiety and pain had dug deep channels into my memory cells.

In early 2017, no tooth had troubled me in several years. Using an electric toothbrush and lately a water pik, I seemed to be on top of both decay and a new foe, gum recession.

I was dismayed in August when I began to lose gum tissue around a tooth. No pain. It just feels odd. My Indiana dentist suggested I might have a root crack. Cracked?

He said, “If that’s what it is, the pocket will deepen quickly.”

Worry creased my brow. “What can I do?”

He shrugged. “Root cracks can’t be fixed. You can try using Listerine three times a day. It will kill some local bacteria.”

Swishing Listerine helped. I forgot the problem until I saw my Florida dentist last month. Her eyes grew wide when she checked the depth of my gum pocket. She sent me to see Dr. Oliver, a periodontist. (Gum expert.)

Dr. Oliver

Dr. Oliver

The gentle-voiced man enlarged my x-ray and pointed to a hairline root crack. His brown eyes held sympathy. “You have two choices. “One, you don’t have to do anything and live with the possibility of greater infection trouble.” He paused. “The other is extraction.”

He continued explaining choices after extraction, but I wasn’t listening. Not pull a tooth!

But, like I had since I began seeing a dentist at age 5, I accepted the inevitable and gathered courage for extraction.

Wound tight with anxiety, my blood pressure was up 20 points when I showed up for my appointment.

“I’m anxious!” I confessed. “I may cry.”

Doctor Oliver nodded. “You’ll be fine.”

And I was. He was kind and his “treatment” was painless and efficient.

Though I may always have dental anxiety, I am blessed to have such a professional care for my needs!


This month Christa (Mar. ‘18) comments on “The Best Thing about Having Children …”

“The best thing is how they help you see the world with a fresh perspective. There’s something amazing about being with someone who is (See back page.)

experiencing things for the very first time. As they marvel at the world, you can’t help but lose some of that adult jadedness and marvel along with them. As they learn more and more you come to realize that you didn’t know as much as you thought, and maybe you’re even inspired to go back and learn some of what you missed out on when you were younger.

Before having children I operated under the assumption that what I knew was what I knew and if I wanted to grow I’d need to build on that. But when my daughter and my son came along, they helped me see that I have as much potential to learn new things now as they do. Maybe I pick facts and skills up more slowly because I have a lot more going on in my life that I need to think about, but I can still take

up piano even though it means starting from scratch. Now that my kids are getting a bit older, there are less of those moments where I’m watching their “firsts” but I’m trying to hold on to those feelings of wonder and to never assume I know all there is to know or have seen all there is to see.

Hopefully, when they start to get jaded I’ll be able to inspire them to keep seeing the world through fresh eyes!”


I first lived away from home at/with…” will continue for June and joined by “If you could have the /original/ of anything, what would you want that to be?”


At our annual Ninepatch Board of Directors Meeting, Georgene, Christa and I discussed stretching our outreach. To do this we decided to create a Facebook address. In the new “Ninepatch group,” Ninepatch-ers can respond right away to posted thoughts and topics. Our aim is to attract community conversation, to reach out to people who can benefit from deeper connections in their lives and to touch folks who are habitual Facebook users.

In taking this step I had technical help from a previous teaching colleague and present Ninepatch reader, Bill. (A big thank-you to him!)

Since ours in not an actual “Facebook page” you will find us listed as “Ninepatch group.”

Hope to see you there soon!

Editor Frances adds, “In May 2018, we’ll begin posting a weekly topic for comment and photo-sharing.”

May1 –”Mother”

May 7 –”I remember”

May 14 –”My favorite”

May 21 –”My birthday”

May 28 –”I hope”

We welcome your topic ideas and other suggestions. Like a “regular” Facebook page, chat, photos and quotes are welcome any time.




Just a


Of giving

Someone a

Chance. It is a

Matter of that one

Taking a chance on you too.

With either way,

it takes a bit of faith.

To achieve the success

that both parties desire.

Simon Stargazer III (Apr. ‘18) tells the tale behind his lines, “When my stepson, John went to prison several years ago, I didn’t realize that it was the beginning of my unofficial prison ministry. We visited as we could, and over time helped him with supplies and emotional support, that often spilled over on to other prisoners. He took college courses, and computer workshops which spilled over into teaching and tutoring computer, math and other skills. After two Associates and two Bachelors’ degrees, John decided to earn a Masters. He was accepted at an online program at a California university. At that point, I unwittingly became his research assistant. A few years later, after sending him hundreds of pages copied from a multitude of sources on line, John produced a thesis analyzing the anti-Semitic background for the Holocaust. (Accepted and printed in 2009.)

  A year later, he earned early release to a work-release program, followed by a year of house arrest. Finally, we were able to help him buy a home.

In the meantime he steered newly released felons to us. The men stayed in our “mother-in-law” addition.  We mentoring to help them re-enter local society with some degree of stability 

         Of six people we helped, three have been successful. (Much better than 75- 90% rate of return to prison that currently exists in our state.) Of those six, John was the most successful. He earned a salary of almost $50,000 a year managing several departments in a major non-profit recycling firm.

Another man, Steve, has worked for several years as an office manager in a major firm in our city, has a fiancé and his own home.  A third man, Paul, is still with us.  He has worked successfully in several construction jobs, where he has earned high praise. In another year, he should be able to buy his own place as well.

I am sad to report that John, who has been our vetting source for felons to help, has recently died.”


What I know is in my future

is practicing what I say,

not just saying it.

I see myself yet traveling and

saying what I know,

spreading myself to

wherever I’m to go, not in the religious sense,

but where a cup of tea might be

just the thing to give someone hope.

I always thought I should be perfectly healed and I’m not.

There is no “right” or “perfect” me, no time to say I am free of worry

or conflict. But sometimes

we just know time’s up.

It is not, if now not ever.

My memory is half gone

but still there is some meaning

in what I have to say. (OK if you have thoughts say so.)

It will be an art form caravan

of new and lost thoughts

spreading not truth

but thoughts and love,

finding out what love is on the way.

Gayle Bluebird (Apr. ‘18) adds, “The timing for Frances to select this poem from my Facebook page to print is perfect. I am selling my home as I write with some unknowns ahead. I need to read my poem again! Catch me on Facebook with my daily poetically correct poems.”