Frankieleeee's Blog

Whatever boils over over here!

Zetta (Henrietta) Back Home following Breast Surgery. One Big Sigh of Thanks! 120916

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Zetta’s back home. One day last week she emailed that she was going in for breast surgery. Suddenly, on Sunday, yesterday, she’s back and sounds sorta chipper. Welcome home, Zetta. Seems like a lot of our gang is cracking in and out of the hospital – Zetta in Paris (TN), of course.

In this morning’s email

Sunday, September 16, 2012 7:28 PM
I arrived at home about 3:30 p.m. today.  For those who do not know, they had to stop the surgery on Thursday because they thought I was having a heart issue.  After consulting with a cardiologist, they decided it was just more A-fib – perhaps stronger than usual.  Then the surgery was done on Friday afternoon.  Things are going great!  I will go to the surgeon on Friday to have the drains removed.  Hopefully by that time, the test of the lymph nodes will have been done.
      Thank you for the calls and the prayers. Love to all,

Written by frankieleeee

September 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

September 5, 2012. Maggie the Nurse strikes again. More Questions; not so many Answers.

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Maggie Brown supervising nurse Hospice to do or not to do medicines prescribed and ordained or spattered and tattered insanely about. Criptographics. 9 Sep 2012. flefotol


he sed

my friend
have i got


for you

more dope
more often
more power

in fact
you need
a damned
to get off
of it



tell me
you be

to die

or not
to die



what am
to do
til kingdom

with an
in my


your britches

let em
in my

Written by frankieleeee

September 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

September 8, 2012. Lunchbunch. Mi Camino Real, Mount Orab OH. flebobcee, BUT where’s Wee-Willie?

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120906 Mt Orab OH Mi Real Camino Lunchbunch. Wall mural. Bob foto. Criptographic.

120906 LunchBunch Mi Real Camino in Mount Orab OH. Menu featuring Oscar’s autograph. flefoto. Criptographics.

Bob says we woulda gone to the little grill in his well-guarded and gated community where danger lurks wherever entry is sought. All the plans had been laid DOWN. All the maps drawn and quartered. EXCEPT they don’t open until 4pm. So, hippity hippity hop, we flop again at Mi Camino Real, where we’ve been often enough this past few years to be recognized at first glance. Where the people are friendly and the food is decent and they allow us to play Scrabble (copyright til you die) afterwords without having to push and pull me to a library down the street and up Route 68 past Radio Shack.

Another miracle that’s made my life much more accessible (to me) is the auto adaptor kit for my c-PAP (thank you, CB, for finding it) which allows me to wear my mask which helps me breathe almost effortlessly during short-to-medium trips.

Oscar served us for the first time today. Never missing a beat in the warm and timely response offered by Caesar, his predecessor who, we thought, might have been hiding in the kitchen to get some respite from this crabby, demanding, old folks. You can see Bob’s brain working furiously as he creates still yet another question to throw at Oscar without getting kicked out of there or led by the nose to the kitchen sink’s load of dirty dishes. Or is it ye old reflux yo-yoing? 120906. Good thing Bob exhausted himself talking on this Lunch Bunch Thursday, for his phone would lie fallow in CB’s purse for the next five days in CB’s purse where it had sprung in a desperate effort to make a home with an even bigger talker than master Bob. Criptographics. flefoto.

Just the three of us, Bob, CB and me. Willie is off wandering in Vermont again with her friend diddle diddle john, the hunter man who, she says, seems almost as cosy in Vermont as in his mobile hunting lodge somewhere on the Ohio-West Virginia border.

Oscar the server was serving the LunchBunch for the very first time. And, like Caesar before him, seemed to have radar installed to anticipate our needs and various types of medication to quickly counter ill effects of some of our silly requests.

Like roasted peppers. Tasty but testy (hot). Bob and I ordered two and ate one each. The other two I brought home to chop into the white beans my sister had given me the week before to the accompaniment or crumbling cornbread.

120906 cheese and chorizo and refried beans. Enough, it seemed for a while, to float the whole block for a few jarring moments of deeply pulsating bodily explosions. Criptographics. flefoto.

Bob’s spousal unit Joyce is on a protracted sojourn to the South. Not so bad, he can keep in touch by phone. But WAIT, CB dropped Bob’s phone in her purse! He has no phone at home. So, he’ll truly be Joyceless until next Tuesday when we meet again. And beyond.

CB got her usual steak fajitas; problem with multiple visits to a dining establishment (more than one) is that boredome sets in quickly and heavily, like a concrete horseshoe the school bully forced down your gullet, regardless of how good the food, service, appointments and all that stuff may have been that “first” time. NEVER spend the first one until you feel you absolutely must.

CB is lovin’ her steak fajitas, probably the 2nd most favorite Lunch Bunch Food at Mi Camino Real. 120906. Criptographics.

120906 Lunch Bunch seen through the sharp eyes of a guru-iet. “Laugh,” shouted the big guy in the bigger wheelchair; laugh, damn you! With a will! And we did!!!!!!!!!” Criptogra[hics. Bobfoto.

Bob had an enchilada and a tamale. I had a tamale (I do believe the singular form of tamale is “tamale”) and the stuff that normally comes with fajitas – beans and rice all around and all that other sour cream and guacamole and stuff. Followed by flan and churros.

A solid 7 for me and I heard no complaints from the other two until we started the Scrabble games.  I won 1 of 2. CB won 1 or 3. and Bob won 2 of 3. Unless, of course, I am mistaken.

120906 Afterwords. Bob is the designated loader and unloader of my folding Scrabble Board. 500 ins and outs with not one smashed snout – well, mebbe one, eh Bob? But nothing, absolutely nothing compared to a fast draw. Have you ever? I say, have you ever been victimized by a fast draw artist? ”Tis not something soon forgotten. No. Not at all. 120906. Criptographics. flefoto.

The conversion united that allows me to use my C-PAP in Tranq is a blessing, boosting me to eating spots around the area.

Thank you, Bob, for the tomatoes….again. What can be better than the taste of a fresh tomato? A tasty round of lip wrestling, he muttered confidently after a pause for thought.

I must also thank Mi Camino Real for the Mexican pop. Strawberry for me; Orange for Bob. Wow! Reminded me of the pop we used to sometimes be able to afford from the iceman down in Puryear, Tennessee. Straight from on the ice under the protective tarpaulin to my mouth, thence quickly, quickly, laid, down my throat, like liquid sandpaper cleaning my pipes. Wow!

Written by frankieleeee

September 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Kids drive down for a refresher course this weekend, to refresh this old soul of mine: Connie-doo and Gabi. Danny, too! Whoopee ti i a! And sister Peggy and…and..Joe Frankie; it’s a wonder I could walk the next day! (Oh, you says I couldn’t? Damn!) August 30, 2012

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120829 Carrollton, Kentucky. General Butler State Park. Bright lights from god. Criptographics.

Just in time to rebuild my faltering electronic empire, daughter Connie and granddaughter Gabi drove down from Lansing last weekend to make my electronic gadgets better!

120829 Two Star Restaurant, General Butler State Park, Carrollton, Kentucky. Another of the miraculous tools that help me get out of the house: a 12 inch fan to blow air full force into my panic attacks. Annnnd it works! Sometimes. Criptographics.

My printer is printing again; thank you, Connie-doo. (This is a week later – printer is NOT working AGAIN) The printer/copier did NOT get back on track sufficiently to get back on line before Connie-doo and Gabi left. Still, if there is enough life left I’m pretty dawned sure it’ll all be okay in a little while.

120901 Gabi baked some cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Saturday. I grabbed me a yum. And what it was wuz yum. Criptographics. Gabifoto.

Connie-doo, aided by CB, returned WIFI control of our computers from the cable company to our own selves and got us back on line.

All the while, Gabi and Connie-doo were going through the throes of back to school blues/agony/excitement. Gabi had waited until the last minute to complete the summer homework for her special advanced classes. Later she emailed that she had finished it all, but that she also discovered it was all unnecessary, that she had mixed a course that required summer work with another (the one she took) which didn’t. She says yes she might pay a tad more attention next year.

Mexican takeout from the Cancun. Danny drove all the way from Detroit to have dinner with us. Steak Fajitas, as usual. Was feeling way out of sorts and so came down fo me brief R&R. By daylight, however, he was back on in the Motor City. Above l-r: Danny, Gabi and Connie-doo. Less than a week after this photo was taken, Danny was admitted to a Detroit hospital for observation. Unfortunately, we have been unable to get a reliable report (as of this writing).

There is an obvious hole there since Jacob has moved to Wyoming. I miss him. Damn, I wish that gal of his had a mom in Kalamazoo, too.

Successfully. Everybody’s back behind a desk chewing on pencil erasers and punching keyboards.

As time goes by, I seem to enjoy their visits ever more et more.

A garden artisan had created the perfect bullfrog out of two wheelbarrows in the hotel’s flower garden. I like it! Thank you, Gabi, for grabbing it (camera) for me.

120829 Flowers. Two Rivers Restaurant Hotel in Carrollton KY’s General Butler State Park. Criptographics. Gabifoto

Friday we all jumped into Tranq and tooled down to Carrollton, Kentucky, to celebrate my sister Peggy’s birthday at the Two Rivers Restaurant. Excellent fried fish and blackberry cobbler. Carrollton’s about halfway between Louisville (where my sister lives) and Cincinnati (where I live).

Good day! It’s good to have family and friends to love and cherish and adore and like, isn’t it?

120831 Happy Birthday Sister Peggy, nor shall we unzip, not even for a pipsqueak!!!! That which once might have been boring was wonderful. Criptographics.

120831 Happy Birthday Sister Peggy, nor shall we unzip, not even for a pipsqueak!!!! That which once might have been boring was wonderful. Criptographics.

En route to Peggy’s birthday luncheon, we stopped for a fresh fruit tort from Servatii’s bakery down the street from our apartment. Only thing better, my opinion, is tiramisu which doesn’t travel well, I’m told.

Family around the table at Two Rivers Restaurant in General Butler State Park, Carrollton, KY. L-R: Joe Frankie, Peggy, me, CB, Connie-doo. (Gabi served as cameraperson of the day). Criptographics.

Thing is, the white beans and cornbread pone she brought me from her own kitchen were worth half a dozen fresh fruit torts. Thank you, sister.

120829 Joe Frankie insists he is not a “talker.” There are those who disagree with him, however. I heard. Criptographics. My sister insists, “I just listen!” 120829

120832 Peggy’s B’day Part in Carrollton KY. My daughter Connie and her daughter Gabi (Gabrielle) also got in their fair share of giggles and clickety clacks. Criptographics. flefoto.

120829 Peggy’s Birthday Party’s server (Wouldn’t you know I’ve forgotten her names, both her birth name and her pseudonym. One of her attributes I admire: she doesn’t act like she’s doing you a favor by waiting on you. Criptographics. flefoto.

t heartily recommend General Butler State Park as a meeting place for lunch or an overnight visit. We’ve been there so many times, I see the beginnings of wheelchair wheel prints on the carpet.

120831 chicory blossoms n plant held by CB tweaked. Another food shortage in the Confederacy during the American Civil War was coffee. Someone discovered that chicory wasn’t coffee but also that it wasn’t too bad for a caffein junkie. Chicory was sometimes mixed with coffee, an extender, and sometimes substituted wholly for coffee. I was kinda shocked when I first learned years ago that those beautiful blue blossoms in ditches and fields everywhere I turned were the same chicory my grandmother’s coffee from the Standard Coffee man was flavored. Some say chicory coffee is favored over plain straight up coffee in New Orleans and southern Louisiana. Chicory. Criptographics. flefoto.

120902 Gabi did some back to school shopping and happened upon some of my favorite colors, like these bright orange britches

Sunday afternoon found us double-dipping, however. Danny drove his shiny blue car down from Detroit to get away from neighborhood hassles for a while.

120902. Chums. CB and Danny. She sometimes can find the words when the rest of us try desperately but futilely; I think he’s lucky to have such a friend. Criptographics. flefoto

“Sometimes it seems the ground rises, the sky falls and the outer walls of Detroit close in on my neighborhood” he said, “feeding my fear that ne’er-do-wells threaten the castle I’ve worked so hard to build and maintain.

“So I get away for a day or two of R&R. After which the visions of total destruction of my neighborhood lightens up a bit and I’m usually fine.”

Despite all the excitement, fear and uncertainty, we were glad to welcome Danny and have him with us for a few hours. Back home, he pronounced all was fine and back on track.

Danny also is one fine Scrabble (copyright til you die) player.

Written by frankieleeee

August 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Then comes JC the New Haven wunderkind for a few moments of wisdom and giggles. August 29, 2012.

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A few minutes, he said.

Herrrrrre’s John the wanderer come to visit! Criptographics. flefoto

Alright, I replied as I jumped into slow-mo mode.

And so, for  a couple of hours, we reminisced about the days of innocence, or was it our days of menace? hehehe

Good visit with JC Wednesday.

Hope more dreams will come true.

For both of us, my friend.

Written by frankieleeee

August 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

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Air thick enough to choke a cow…and ME; Chinese (is it really?) food good and plenty enough to fatten us all for market! Lunch Bunch.

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120828 Future of four of the LunchBunch foretold by soothsayers at the Chinese Buffet in Cincinnati’s Eastgate Shopping Center. Clockwise beginning in upper left: Bob, fle, Willie & CB. Criptographics. williefoto

My first time in weeks to venture more than a few blocks from the house. Success!

120828 Gathering and girding our loins in the parking lot, preparing yet another assault on the Chinese Buffet in Eastgate. Criptographics. flefoto

Sometimes, no, most times, Lunch Bunch winds up landing in a tiny or medium strip mall somewhere between Northern Kentucky and Northern Dayton. I think that the strip mall must be formatted for easy ingress and egress for restaurant owners and their equipments and their dreams.

120828 Chinese Buffet at Eastgate. Criptographics. flefoto

The China Buffet in the Eastgate Shopping Center is an exception to the temporary housing rule, however, we’ve been planting our big and small butts there for several years, never tiring yet of the cornucopia of eastern delicacies awaiting us. One of the few places I don’t complain too much about return visits – my preference is to try a new place every week.

“Take off your coat, throw it in the corner; don’t see why you don’t stay a little longer…” (Bob n Willie)

I try to get a small bite of everything that looks good and wind up with three plates of samples, half of which are consumed with a smile in my gut and between my mustache and beard.

120828 Hong Kong looking down upon the Lunch Bunch

120828 Bob and server Cindy got to know each other very very well, apparently; we all sighed with joy

Hot. Hot. Hot.

I love spicy hot food. I discovered yesterday my lungs can no longer endure hot and muggy weather. I learned the definition of smothering firsthand until Tranq’s a/c kicked in.

Bob brought tomatoes and cucumbers to the party – thank you, my friend. And ribs which he also took back home.

120828 Chinese Buffet. Eastgate Shopping Center. Cincinnati.

Willie brought snicker doodles she had made – they were excellent, Wee Willie.

CB brought me – good job, CB.

Scrabble (copyright til you die) is mostly fuzzy, methinks

Tuesday because Willie and John (her spousal unit) (remember the soul singer Little Willie John? – mebbe a good label for our couple, eh? Eh, Willie?

120828 Afterwords. Preparing the battlements.

Anyhow, Little Willie John left for parts Vermont this morning, take their cats with them and who knows what else as their ferry their household from here to the ancestral home left Willie by her mom a few years back.

What a beautiful setting up there not far from Lake Champlain. CB and I met with Willie up there one October for a special Lunch Bunch where I was introduced to poutine, a mishmash of french fries, gravy and curd cheese.

I’m surely gonna miss her when she arrives at her final farewell. Glad Bob’s, so far, not planning on spending the rest of his retirement in the Okefenokee Swamp wrestling alligators, crocodiles and giant catfish.

I suppose I should mention the consensus grade we four gave the Chinese Buffet was 8.3. Unlike most buffets we’ve tried, they have squid; they have octopus; and stuff; but I never found one of their spareribs.

Lunchbunch is a rally. One of us tries to find a restaurant that is impossible to find and the rest spend the morning looking for it, GPS in hand, or in the case of Bob, handwritten instructions his hand wrote down – Bob doesn’t trust his GPS very much because, he says, I’ve been a very poor example when I got CB and me lost several times using GPS. Never ever ever, though – well, HARDLY ever, do I mention the time Willie and I followed Bob all over the countryside near Clarksville (OH) looking for apples (It’s our secret, Bob – Willie’s and yours and mine!).

When we do finally find each other at the designated meeting place the clash of our rushing words would energize a nuclear power plant if someone ever learned to harness it.

After staying in the house, mostly in bed, for most of the week before, riding in a wheelchair behind CB in Tranq, is without equal, even when the water-laden air refuses to cease its battering of the insides of my lungs.

120828 Afterwords. Preparing the battlements.

I think most of us won at least one Scrabble (copyright til you die). Well, no, CB says that’s not true. CB won both of hers. Willie lost both of hers. Bob and I split ours. After more than a decade, we, however, have yet to reach a decision on the deepest meaning of that frustrating word game. Too bad AGGRAVATION isn’t its name.

Brought home some Singapore Mai Fun and, thusly, added a new favorite taste: the curry did it, methinks.

120828 – Lots of food; more cleanup. It’s a wonder they don’t have me on my hands and knees cleaning up my infamous messes caused by spillover from Bob’s and my (and sometimes Willie’s) appetizers.

Willie had to leave after two games to get home ahead of traffic and get her ass packing for today’s departure. (It is my theory (well ONE one of my theories). Bob shot over to Meijer’s to do Joyce’s bidding. I got in Tranq and tried to keep quiet so as not to disturb CB, my chauffeur.

Written by frankieleeee

August 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

August 9, 2012 Lunch Bunch at Emma’s Soul Food, Harrison Avenue, Western Hills (Cincinnati).

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Around the corner from Emma’s Soul Food Restaurant in Cincinnati. Shack on the outside but definitely not on the inside. Criptographics. 2012. flefoto.

Soul food. How life has changed from the days when soul food, or country food, became the bill of fare for us folks who couldn’t afford better cuts or more expensive vegetables. Now the yuppies are trying to take our food away from us, denying us of yet another part of our identity. I saw in a paper last week where a high class soul food restaurant was opening in the Cincinnati area.

120809 It’s a lonesome street, is Harrison, looking out the front door of Emma’s Soul Food. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 I have regrettably forgotten the server’s name. He was kind and helpful and skillful.. The menu was functional although handwritten – penmanship C+. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 More of Emma’s I-don’t-know-their-names: the two guys in the background are the chefs. We all enjoyed our lunch, although the jury is out as to whether/when we, the discerning Lunch Bunch, will return. Criptographics. flefoto



People in the big house over there ate pork tenderloin and hams and tender cuts of ham. From the same pigs, the poor people who helped kill and dress the hogs got what would probably have been thrown away for fed to the dogs any. Hog head for head cheese where you take all the skin and stuff, grind it up and make a poor man’s lunch loaf. Pig ears, one of my favorites, to boil for sandwiches. Pig feet. Pig tails. Brains? Nothing better than pig brains scrambled with eggs.owe

there were the poor white relatives of the hog owners who gratefully accepted the charity of leftover pig ears, feet and ribs, a piece of loin or two to supplement the 5 pounds for a dollar hamburger meat at Schofner and Thompson (half bread and other filling). And we loved our food, rarely realizing we’d been relegated to the bottom of the balrrel of pork bounty, especially our black friends? who lived over yonder in the holler and who dasn’t say “no” to whatever request, or to whatever compensation was offered.

120809 I have regrettably forgotten the server’s name. He was kind and helpful and skillful. Criptographics. flefoto

Today my 29 cent a pound pork ribs are, what 3 or 4 dollars?

Fat back, for example, has become an integral part of a gourmet dish. Who can afford fatback now?

And everything else is rising sky high in price.

So whadda we eat now that we can afford.

Used to get a soul food plate for 2 or 3 dollars; today it’s 10-17 dollars.

They’re stealing from us again.

I only hope the same ingenuity from Africa, Scotland, Ireland and a few countries in Europe, will come up with alternative affordable food for our tables which by nature of our lessening incomes must be provisioned with less and less.

Which all leads me to Emma’s soul food Restaurant on Harrision not far down the street.

I don’t like to take the LunchBunch to the west side; it’s too easy to go close to home. Except now with my COPD, I am forced to. And we’ve found some pretty good places that even Bob hasn’t blown up in his imagination before we left. Five Boroughs. The Chinese Restaurant. Ron’s Roost. Giovanni’s and Emma’s.

Strangely, Emma’s had been open on Harrison Avenue, a major thoroughfare, for 8 years, and CB and I had never heard of it. Almost literally a hole in the wall. Clean. Good fresh food, but not what I would call a souldfood restaurant.

A compromise between Europe and Africa. A compromise.

120809 Unnamed server and Willie establish a temporarily strong bond. The fish was good. The ribs not barbecued but baked we were told. Criptographics. Flefoto

I’ve worn myself down writing this …. I’ll finish tomorrow.

120809 CB can’t hardly wait fer the grub. See the hunger in her eyes, the expectations. Criptographics. flefoto

Any of you ever been to a hog killing where nearby Negro laborers, who lived in tiny villages among farms in the county, were called to help and given hog guts (chitterlings), ribs, heads and the like for their hard day’s labor.

120809 CB can’t hardly wait fer the grub. See the hunger in her eyes, the expectations. Criptographics. flefoto

And we haven’t even touched on barbecued possum and fried raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, edible birds and the like.


Is the story as simple as someone stealing my Dad’s (on my father’s side) and my Grandmother’s (on my mother’s side) recipes and selling them to the highest bidder once they had sampled their rich (fatty) goodness, increasing demand for the junk food which had heretofore feed us at the bottom of the food chain, which, in turn raised prices to fit big time eateries.

120809 Willie and Bob and CB and I found more than guffaw hanging in the air inside Emma’s . “Did you hear the one about……?” Criptographics. flefoto

Will we, too, be relegated to dog food dinners?

“With or without cereal bits, ma’am et mister? I do recommend the pseudo wheat germ flavor.”

120809 Beautiful flowers to top off the tasteful decor of Emma’s street side windowsill. Criptographics. flefoto

120809 Out back. The end of it all! Bury it quick and bury it deep, matey, afore it spreads over us all. Criptographics. flefoto

Written by frankieleeee

August 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm