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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

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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

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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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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

August 16-19. Lunch Bunch Comes to Me. Rodney drives 5 hours to visit an old friend – me.

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120817 And here they are, except for Judy and me, playing THE game, mastery of which we know will set us free to fly unfettered through the remainder of our lives. L-R Rodney, Willie, CB and Bob (in background).

Rodney is a Scrabble (copyright til you die) player turned wanderer/investigator. Investigator of places and people and things and concepts.

120817 CBFL apartment – fle and Rodney. Criptographics

Rodney is also a friend who drove down to Cincinnati from Plymouth, Michigan, for Lunchbunch and to visit me for a weekend. I do believe he discovered stuff and places during three days that I hadn’t in my 15 or so years in Cincinnati.

He so reminds me of my blues friend Don who also must poke behind every bush on every side road along every which a way wherever that leads him and whatever it might do to his schedule.

Free and easy and curious who more often than not actually finds answers to his questions.

Rodney starts out to a bluegrass concert over the way a piece to meet up with Lunchbuncher Judy and grandchild. Hours later he reports he got close enough to “hear” the music and that he did call Judy but stopped off at a wine and cheese bar and got lost in a two hour conversation with an interesting young lady.

Back home at the ranch here, it was story time; that boy has more stories that Carter used to have little liver pills. A visit to Pennsylvania. His interest and investigation of coffees, including one so esoteric the beans are eaten AND defecated by (specific) monkeys before being roasted, at $150.00 a pound, into the world’s finest coffee.

Lunchbunch 11 Aug 2012 at CBFL: Rodney, Bob and CB in the background. Criptographics. flefoto

To ensure fun for all at our homespun Lunchbunch, hospice sent a respiratory therapist to install a backup breathing aid (Yea, Willie, I forgot the “real” name”) in case, I suppose, I needed extra help with my convulsive laughter which always seems to accompany our soiree by any other name (Lunch Bunch). Is that Rodney in the background reaching for his notebook for Nu Notes For the Future? Criptographics. flefoto

Friday’s Lunch Bunch saw us haul in enough grub for a church group from Lin’s Thai Restaurant up on the hill near Kroger’s. Including sticky rice and mangoes. Willie, Bob, CB, Jude and I welcomed Rodney to the group, ate a bunch and played Scrabble (copyright til you die) til our fingertips grew calloused from the semi sharp corners of the tiles.

The negative was that I was in bed almost all day, even playing Scrabble (copyright til you die) while lying abed. But it worked out and the day was a success in my lexicon. It was good having so much friendship surrounding me.

The visit was friendly, warm and wonderful. Hated to see Rodney go. Much different when you have every expectation of another visits anon.

Written by frankieleeee

August 25, 2012 at 1:33 am

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Lunch Bunch August 23, 2012. Eating with the seniors at Giovanni’s in the verdant (except for Giovanni’s) western suburbs of Cincinnati.

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I actually got out of bed yesterday. What an adventure! There I was lying in that damned ole hospital bed on a Thursday morning when I felt this quirky tug on my gut (sorry, could not differentiate between small and large). “Must be Lunch Bunch pangs,” opined CB. “Willie and Bob must be spelling you to get themselves out of having to come to us and play Scrabble on your hospital bed.

120823 And the seniors have it! Giovanni’s, that is. And always welcomed personally by Tony the server (whom I sometimes refer to as “Bob”). Casual is good. Food is good (except for musty taste of bread and Bruschetta). Company is GRRRRReatttt!!!!! Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Bob and Tony in back; Willie and fle in front. CB in back of the camera. Criptographics. CBfoto

Giovanni’s Italian Family Dining. Where old folks go to shovel down the soft, yet delicious; the bland, yet tasty, proooducts of the Giovanni Emini family. Courtesy of the scoops provided by the pound by Tony Enimi, son of the family. Scoops unlimited! As tony performs his Russian dance Kazachok

Fleet of foot, master of the kazachok, Tony Emini, master of all the tables he surveys at Giovanni’s (and he surveys them ALL). Only hands of family touches the food, none of strangers, they say, airily, self-assuredly. 120823. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 All Lunch Bunch is served family style; every order is shared, except, on occasion, Bob’s eggs. Here CB passes the me a share of the salad which I immediately mixed with sausage and spaghetti and stuff, for roughage purposes only, of course. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 CB in the middle and at the ready! Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Willie with tales from Enosburgh Falls (VT), Indian Lake (OH), just above Dayton OH, Colorado, Albany, and King’s Island, not to mention her most recent adventures at the dentist’s office. Criptographics. flefoto

120823 Our Table: see the ripples of laughter? Criptographics. Bobfoto

This hospice thing has become a pain in the ass: I truly never know when a Lunch Bunch will be my last, either in-house or in an eatery. It’s a tad frightening to know that there is a relatively small finite number of Lunch Bunches in my future.

But that’s whining. Actually, I’m grateful for the time I’ve left to spend with friends and work on real and imaginary projects.

120823 A picture on the wall in Giovanni’s. Criptographics. Flefoto

120823 A picture on the wall in Giovanni’s. My favorite among them all. Criptographics. Flefoto

Time to make believe I can still …… (fill in the blank)

Oh, me! Oh, my! What will they ever do without me? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Ooooooooooooooooooooh!

Bob, Willie, CB and I comprised Thursday’s Lunchbunch. Bob stopped along the way and brought us all some fresh tomatoes. God, are they good. Thank you, Bob.

Willie got up early for a dentist appointment and, wouldn’t you believe it, I forgot to admire her new work.

She was almost biblical in that she went first to “prepare a place for us” at the usual table served as usual by Bob Enimi, son of Giovanni. Ordered appetizers: sausage in sauce, fried calamari, and bruschetta.

120824 And I in my bib, wolfed and wolfed til my tongued lolled and lolled, to the delight of my paid-audience in Giovanni’s, except for the one fellow who threw back his five dollar coin along with what seemed like a peck of overripe tomatoes mixed with mnure-rich soil from which they had come the week previous. Criptrographics. bobfotot

Even though a busload of seniors beat us to their tables, and even though only Tony was there to serve, he served like a mothuh and nobody had to wait… not even us latecomers.

Let’s see, I had spaghetti and sausage (pretty good), Bob had a cheese pizza (delicious), CB had ziti alfredo (okay) and Willie had lobster ravioli (i donated my portion to the hungry children in Appalachia; others froze theirs to be examined at some distant future time).

Ever try to divide one medium to small piece of tiramisu among 4 people all of who who wanted the biggest piece? especially Willie and me? Good stuff and Bob’s Cannoli wudn’t half bad, either.

A testament to the taste of Giovanni’s: Willie took John Lasagna for dinner and I brought sausage (homemade, of course) and tiramisu for CB’s and my dinner. No leftovers were allowed to languish.

Back to CB’s and my apartment for some Scrabble (copyright til you die) and leftover Rodney root beer.

120818 The contraband, dear Cincinnati, in Bob's closely guarded cooler, is tomatoes - precious, fresh, ripe, unrivaled in taste for a quarter-century. Tomatoes. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, my friend. As he also enters our apartment building to smash us lesserlings like cold flies under his swift Scrabble (copyright til you die) fists. Sometimes, however, he finds surprises in his stocking, like the sock aimed at his eye by CB and Willie and even me on sparse occasion. Criptographics. flefoto.

120818 The contraband, dear Cincinnati, in Bob’s closely guarded cooler, is tomatoes – precious, fresh, ripe, unrivaled in taste for a quarter-century. Tomatoes. Thank you, Bob. Thank you, my friend. As he also enters our apartment building to smash us lesserlings like cold flies under his swift Scrabble (copyright til you die) fists. Sometimes, however, he finds surprises in his stocking, like the sock aimed at his eye by CB and Willie and even me on sparse occasion. How cold and lonely these buildings all seem without the softening of human warmth or love or breath or something like that, eh? Criptographics. flefoto.

I won a game.

I also lost a game that Bob says I probably could have won.

Twelve years almost every week we’ve played Scrabble (copyright til you die) and have yet to agree on almost anything about Scrabble (copyright til you die) EXCEPT that we all like it, especially Willie who continues to chase it with a will and with every centime she can borrow from Farmer Jack’s.

The downside is the next morning (today), that damned ole elephant showed up again and sat on my chest until mid-afternoon when I finally managed to calm her/him down by practicing my breathing without my C-PAP mask.

120823 Back at the ranch, Bob, Willie and CB prepare for the weekly Scrabble scrap. Can Bob keep that smirk intact through the afternoon? Stay tuned, dear viewers, and ye may see yet. Criptrographics. flefoto

120823 Nebulizer. Nebulizer. Drugging up to boost my Scrabble (copyright til you die) I.Q. Won one. Lost one. Won the first one which means Scrabble (copyright til you die) drugs don’t have long enough effects, do they Bob? Criptographics.

120823 Willie and I shooting each other. Criptographics. flefoto

All is well and I am already swelling with anticipation for next week at Eastgate, willing to spend some miserable time in bed to combat edema in my legs in order to make the trek on Tuesday.


Written by frankieleeee

August 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm