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Whatever boils over over here!

Archive for June 2012

June 22, 2012 Two Rivers Lodge, General Butler State Park, Carrollton, KY: Thank you!

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It should be illegal, the delight I find in being with friends and kin. Lookee here. Clockwise starting with me: ME, my cousin Fay Evans, her brother and my cousin Johnny Alexander, My sister Peggy Moody Smith, another Alexander girl, Linda who makes the finest blackberry cobbler this side of the great divide, my brother Ronald Moody, (seated) Carol Ann Alexander Norwood who does good wherever she sees road kill and bloody fingers. Criptographics. photo by ronald moody Jun 22, 2012

A big bunch of my family huddled over hoe cake and beans and blackberry cobbler at yer General Butler State Park in Carrollton, Kentucky, the other day. In part, I guess, it was my birthday which had eschewed Jefferson and Leee weeks earlier when Lee was locked in a breathe freeze over in Cincinnati. I do love these people either because it’s intrinsic or because I’m desperately looking (as Arthur Godfrey is said to have done in his lonely dying days) for a friend I can die happy with or mebbe get him or her to drop down the abyss with me to serenade me on the way down. Mebbe JC could soften my landing with some of his soft and sweet songs. But I digress. Again. Don’t I?

June 22, 2013. General Butler State Park, Carrollton KY. Fle n CB at fle’s bday party/gathering at Two Rivers Restaurant. Obviously, two years of dieting gone to hell. Shall I starve myself so I’ll look better when I die or shall I yummy my ass to the grave? More or less on that later methinks. Criptographics

Criptrographics. Jun 22, 2012. General Butler State Park,

The very best days these days are those I can spend with friends and kin. Was it ever thus and I ignored it? Ronald gave me an electronic picture frame for my my death gallery. Here, he’s showing me the Slide show he put together. I watched it intermittently for an entire day and plan to add more and see more more often. Thanks, Ron.

Jun 22, 2012. Criptrographs. Don Norwood, CB & me! Welcoming summer with open arms and stuff. Welcome, you ole Sole, if it wasn’t for the death threats of your humidity, I would fling off my clothes and get me a tan the likes of which even Wee Willie has never seen; instead, you say, “stick it in your nose.” Really?

There was Reanee whom I hadn’t seen in years, since my first marriage when the family used to get together for marathon pitch (card game) battles – I’m told they picked it right up and ploughed straight ahead at Two Rivers.  Reaneee who is actually more related to my first wife, Gerry, than to me and who is closely related to my Alexander cousins, mebbe because she’s an Alexander her own self, being progeny of J-B and Sarah. Reanee recerntly graduated (retired) from the IRS after 32 years, says she may spend the rest of her time playing cards while I straw my death letters all over the place (I’m up to 114 before I did 3 more this morning – does that make it 117?). Reanee and my late brother Jacky were good buddies.

June 22, 2012. Criptographics. Reanee Alexander; and my cousins Carol Ann, Johnny, Linda, Fay. Aunt Louise and Uncle Nolan must done a pretty good job, as did J. B. and Sara Alexander. They all turned out good. Real good.

Truth is I had almost completed this post yesterday (Wednesday), then I discovered all my work had disappeared. Poof! Everything disappeared into thin air. Musta been karma telling me it wasn’t good enough. So, let’s see. Hell, it’s never good enough is it? I wonder if anyone will give a damn about these precious photographs after I die.

June 22, 2012. Father (Joe Frankie in the middle), son (Randy standing on the left) and grandson (Nicholas on the right). Has it been so long since Randy, Nick’s dad Carl and I went on fishing trip to that big reservoir – got some pictures somewhere – and got chased by a beautiful but toothless woman who was caretaker of the bar in the town where we went to replenish beer supplies. STERLING! God, Carl, how many cases did we disappear that weekend?  criptrographics

fotobyRonaldMoody. June 22, 2012. Linin’ up to pay attention. Or to collect for sacrificing precious moments of their lives in General Butler State Park. criptographics

Val and Johnny Alexander who’ve had a much more exciting life (I think) than probably anyone else in the family. Johnny’s the acknowledged  brain of his family. Come to think of it there is no one “brain” in ours. We’re more like the ancient Romans. A triumvirate.  I suspect if you asked any of the three of us, you’d get the same answer, “Heck yes, I’m the brains of this family.

June 22, 2012 Joe Frankie, Johnny, Dwain, Don. criptographics Did I tell you this was my 69th birthday pal rty which had been postponed in April because of illness in the honoree – that would be me.

June 22, 2012. Don Norwood & Joe Frankie Smith. criptographics.

June 22, 2012. Peggy & Charlotte. criptrographics

June 22, 2012. Siblings Carold Ann, Johnny, Linda and Fay. criptographics

June 22, 2012. Johnny, Carol Ann & Reanee check out promotional brochures for the General Butler State Park. The only place you can see BOTH the Kentucky River and the Ohio River. Damn! I missed that: both at the same time. For sure I’m going to look for them next time I’m in, around, or through Carrollton. Criptographics

There’s more to General Butler than meets the eye. One could spend a lifetime in aloneness or escaping the constabulary after raiding a watermelon patch. Most of the rest of the group spent the previous night at the lodge where they played chinese checkers, Scrabble, pitch and parlor games that would… I’m telling you, games that would put a blush on your face as you strained toward the winner’s ribbon.  We can never hearken back to the good ole days but we can blink a couple of times and see some pretty damned wonderful ghosts, eh. Shelling beans by the chimney at Aunt Louise’s. Watching movies under a tent in downtown Puryear with my cousins. Being hoisted upon the bed of a truck to draw the winning lottery tickets (and getting financial reward for the doing) June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012 Criptographics. I’m sorry Joe and other family members who have passed on could not be there for a moment of memory, but gladder ‘n glad I was. I kinda like the blurred effect here caused by my inability to hold my new camera steady,

The Two Rivers Restaurant fare was decent, as usual, if they only learn to cook pinto beans; the hoecakes were good. Johnny says hoecakes come from slave days when for whatever reasons, the bread was actually cooked on the blade of a hoe held over a fire. Grandmother used to make it; I never cared that much about it until I got old, however. This time, it was grreattttt! (Attribution to Tony the Tiger, of course). Carryout is great at Two Rivers! I ordered piece of Blackberry cobbler to go. No charge!

Beat that if you can, Food Network.


If I were Audubon, I would have started somewhere along here! I do love pics of animals, lower order, as well.

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Criptographics. ca 1970. Jack Miner Bird Preserve in Kingssville in Southern Ontario. Canana Geese migration path. Stop here where they are fed and mothered for a night on their journey to and from Canada. What a sight! A camera can only offer a tiny hint of the beauty here, methinks. flefotot

Spring arrives early here, because the town is located at the same latitude as Northern California. Lake Erie also moderates the climate.

Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary

Wild birds flock to the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary during their spring and fall migrations. A sign reads: “The Canada Geese will have all left for their nesting grounds in James / Hudson Bay by April 15. They will start to return with their young in mid-September.”

Several birds are in the roadside field, feeding on corn and barley before resuming their flights. We hear their loud honking, but need binoculars to view them up close. (Visitors can’t pass the yellow rope surrounding the field.)

Driving directions

The Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary address is 322 Road 3 W. (off Division Rd.), in Kingsville. It’s easy to drive here. Signs on Highway 401, from Toronto and London, direct drivers to the Highway 77 exit to Leamington. To reach the bird sanctuary, turn right at Wilkinson Road.

ca 1972. Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary in Ontario. Shot by fle ca 1972.

Bird sanctuary hours are 8 am to 5 pm every day, except Sundays and Christmas, year-round.

Takeoff at Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary in Ontario. Shot by fle ca 1972.

Look at ’em. How do they stay out of each other’s way? Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary in Ontario. Shot by fle ca 1972. Criptographics

Jack Miner, a hunter-turned-conservationist, founded the sanctuary for birds in 1904. Admission is free because he stipulated: “Let there be one place on earth where no money changes hands.”

What beauty! ANNNNND they’re good to eat! Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary in Ontario. Shot by fle ca 1972. criptographics

Bird feeding

Today, thousands of visitors come here annually to see the birds in the 162-hectare sanctuary. Like us, they push open the gate and fill plastic cups with barley to feed Canada geese, greenhead mallards, wood ducks and other waterfowl species around the pond. Injured birds feed in a hospital pen.

In full formation. Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary in Ontario. Shot by fle ca 1972. criptographics Canada Geese

The best months to see the migrating birds are the last 10 days of October, November and early December. The best times to see the birds are the first two hours after sunrise and the last two hours after sundown.

Criptographics. 20110609. My brother Ronald and I spotted this old barn as we made our annual trek through northwest Tennessee. It was not empty. flefoto

Criptographics. 20110609. Nope, there were two horses who owned that barn, not a flinch, not caring a whit if it slipped its frame. Beautiful. fotobyRonald

Written by frankieleeee

June 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm

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The Sun is wound up for its longest day of the year (leastwise in the Northern Hemisphere).

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The Pitch is on the way. Looks like it’s gonna be a Fast and Low SOLSTICE. I’ll take it with my sip of mead. Should it come blue? Will it be true that what ever we wish, if we wish hard enough today will be better tomorrow if we are wishing trouble and sadness away. Is what I always heard, right before the Gypsies came to steal the baby ducks from Grandmother’s chicken coop. E’en the gourds are little help to save the day.

Only mead, I say. Only mead, I tell you. (So we drank wine; like a priest, I cleaned up neatly, thank you, the liquid leftovers of CB and Pamela after we’d charted out for Nature’s purview our most gently stated, our most gillantly issued wishes appropriate to the longest day in the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere this year.

My momma done tole me all ‘ bout den Blues in de Night.


Happy Solstice because three superstitions equal three times as many, thrice as powerful as once around with Aimee.

Connie-doo, Jacob and Gabi got on their horse and rode back to Lansing yesterday. It was filled with petrol; they were filled with purple pop and gassed up from all the food and drink – you’d think we had a 4 day “saturnalia”….. but happy …. until they got home with all the genealogy work I sent with them. Don’t want 20 years of work to go up in smoke with my bones. Golly! I don’t want my inheritors to be forced to gum wet ashes when they could be reading about Charlemagne, their 18th great-great-grandfather. I was deeply touched by the visit by my daughter and grandkids who flung the locks and keys far away and opened themselves totally to my service.

A new nook with a light and which will allow me to borrow library books. Whadda deal.

Printer fixed: check (for the moment)

Worst of all about this whatever this is is disappearing dexterity to tinker and figure stuff out. So far, Connie-doo hasn’t lost any speed and if she does, there’s Gabi ready to jump in further as she did with a charger for a battery charger and something else which … duh …. slips my mind for the moment…..

They make a trio of avenging souls. Rock em. Sock em. Knock em. Into the next week of Europa.

PAMELA says she’s washed up to come over for a Solstice wish party today.

Nurse Aimee says I should be able to keep my right foot. She came by yesterday to check on the stinging steaming from that cut the clipboard made in my right foot a few nights ago. Must be about 6 visits from nurses and three conversations with actual doctors mulling over my poor foot. Stay tuned!

I wonder at the power of some folks who can be standing in the middle of  a crowd and never miss a beat as to whom to yell at and whom to soothe. I wonder. Mightily.

Aimee the hospice nurse came to see me yesterday. Wow

Written by frankieleeee

June 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Pamela’s has a brand new outlook today… looks brand new…

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CB’S youngest daughter Pamela’s 43rd birthday brought her over this morning for a kiss and a gift, for a smile and a mighty big wish for a good life. Sort of. Not all as it would appear on the banks of the Jordan under the auspices of Jesus and Mother Theresa and, let us never forget, John Ford.

Written by frankieleeee

June 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

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If I’m Dying, then why the Hell am I gathering all this mammon in my arms, all this love in my heart and all these people in the corral behind the barn?

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My daughter, Connie-doo, granddaughter Gabe and grandson Jacob have been beating a path around town this past few days, gawking to satisfy their touristic urges, e. g., the Pompeii exhibit over at the train station they call a museum; keeping/getting their bodies in ship at the swimming pool a few blocks away across the street from Lee’s Fried Chicken which they promptly glommed down even as the water dripped unique, if ephemeral, patterns on the sizzling concrete.

Best of all, Connie-doo has begun the long route toward straightening out my iPhone and iPod and Nook and who knows what all. She spent yesterday afternoon at Barnes & Nobles and Apple way cross town fussing first with the Cincinnati traffic, then with Cincinnati shopping crowds and finally with harried salespersons/help(?) persons behind the counters who were so harried or so helpless or so uninspired she had to get her butt out of bed early today to visit Apple again over there again.

Gabi is here babysitting me, waiting with worm-on-tongue with my poison (morphine), my explosive (nitroglycerin), my oxygen masks, pain pills, anxiety combatants, depression fighters, poop enhancers (or should that be encourager), and so damned many breathers and auxiliary breathers that I can’t remember them all. So many that I don’t have a couple of coffee breaks a day. NOOOOO. It’s 10 medicine breaks… ten ten ten … which tell me time and again…. ten ten ten… start all over… again again again… start all over again and again and again.

Sometimes I begin the morrow’s task way behind the end of yesterday’s entry of effort and output.

Gabi seems always happy to take time out from her Kindle to put things together for me, tasks that once seemed second nature to me but are no buried in frustration.

What seems to be happening here is that the kids come down and play AND put my toys back together; go home for a few weeks, then, at my harried summons, come back to play for a few days and put my toys back together…. so I can do the likes of emailing with my iPhone and sorting out my iPod….borrow books electronically from the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Library (may require acquisition of a Kindle to do this… to supplement my Nook).

Instructions can be so damned confusing that I have, on occasion, pitched gadgets into the garbage. The gadgets I have now seem serviceable except for my deep, dark ignorance. And many of my friends agree, verbal instructions from the far East don’t help much. I called one guy in India (or Pakistan) about borrowing library books with my Nook. Talked for more than two hours with him until…until..until…. he advised me to call my internet provider, get a new network password AND START ALL OVER AGAIN.

Written by frankieleeee

June 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Family


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HAPPY father’s day to me. My daughter brought Jacob and Gabi down to celebrate. CB will lead us to a cool country club buffet, if you like country club buffets. Later, looks like the kids will see a DAY in POMPEII at the museum, thanks to some Cincinnati family help. Wish I could go….. Hell, man, how many wishes does it take to fill this blog anyhow?


The country club, as usual, had the best hot pepper eggs omelet I’ve ever had, and the fresh fruit and that stuff that comes out miced oatmeal and sausage (goetta) was superb. On the near side of the other side of nowhere…. but we found it and left in one piece.

Nothin like family folks, I suspect that is especially true when you think that string is preternaturally getting shorter and shorter.

Written by frankieleeee

June 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Family, Hospice


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The more of my junk I spread around me for easy access. You could call it that so I try to beat most of you to the punch, the more I endangered an existence already being bullied like hell by death whom I just moments ago glimpsed peeking behind that joshua tree over there. Two tables for death cards, scrapbooks, nook, books, journals… until they caught up with me the other night…. two books, a pad of paper and the beautiful clipboard Willie gave me made a beeline from one of my tables to the top of my foot, bled for five minutes and then oozed serius (?) fluid for three days, brought 1hospice nurse running. The same night it brought a second hospice nurse running. The next day it brought a third hospice nurse running. And the next day, another – although she was Connie whose obvious duty was to cleanup and checkover….make sure no outstanding evidence remained for the hospice police……er… but of which she was one. Still got a hole in my foot (damned good metal in that clipboard, Willie, you ought send sample to the military!).

Oh, yes, I nearly forgot, my serus wound which didn’t appear to be serious at all, got a free ride to the hospital down the street still the next day for blood work.

And Erik the Doctor called me personally to say HEY and IT’s OKAY and I ‘SPECT YOU’LL LIVE ONE MORE DAY (should say most respectful – of Patients (me) – I’ve seen in an age.


Written by frankieleeee

June 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized