Memories of My Father Nick

Yesterday August 20th would have been my father Nick’s 82nd birthday. This past July 1st marked the 25th anniversary of his passing.  I often think of him and the wisdom he shared with me during the 29 years we shared the same level of existence. I always listened to his advice and stories; but I guess he could see sometimes that I was just in dutiful daughter  mode; sure to do things my way.

Late one night we were in the grocery store that our family ran since I was knee high. He was talking about how to handle one situation or another, and I guess he could see that politeness in my eyes. Suddenly he changed gears and said; Frances I know sometimes you think what I’m crazy. You’re young – you’re not supposed to be able to understand what I’m trying to tell you. One day you will understand everything. I won’t be around then. But that’s okay, because that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

And every day I do remember. 

Just yesterday I was at the bank taking care of some random overcharge – don’t you love those?  And the young man who takes care of these things mentioned he would be going on vacation to Saratoga. That reminded me of horse racing and my daddy; Nick loved to watch the ponies run. And that young man was gracious enough to let me share two of my favorite Nick memories.

The first I call The Pocket Picked

My father had gone to the track on a day when everyone in the three states decided it was that this was their lucky day too. He got caught in a crowd so tight that he couldn’t move his arms. Suddenly he felt a hand slide in and out his sport coat  pocket. He closed his eyes and sighed; it figured a crowd like this would be a field day for pickpockets. Finally some of the people around him moved; he put his hand in his pocket; grateful that his race tickets had been in his hand. He found  $400 extra. The other person slipped it into his pocket thinking it was his own. 

The other I called Strictly Business 

My father wanted to go to the track, and had forgotten to go to the bank for cash. This was way before ATMs so there he was – feeling lucky and just a few singles in his pocket.

While standing on a corner of Columbus Avenue trying to figure something out along came John the local street banker.

Hey John you doing anything?


Good. Lend me a couple hundred and come to the track with me – got some hot tips.


They jump in John’s car and head for the track. John played every horse my father played and both made a bundle.

At the end of the night my father handed John the 200 he borrowed.

Nick you owe me fifty more for the loan.

My father must have given him a look. I know I would have. John smiled and said: Strictly business Nick strictly business.

I love and miss you every single day Daddy.


The older I get, the more I realize the value of privacy, cultivating your circle, and only letting certain people in. You can be open, honest, and real while still understanding not everyone deserves a seat at the table of your life. – Unknown 

Sometimes Posting to Facebook can be a Trip without Luggage

I can hear the groans already. Believe me more than one person I know has cancelled their account; or told me that they wouldn’t start an FB account if they were suffocating and pressing the like button would deliver oxygen.

I have had and mostly enjoyed my FB account for quite a few years now. But sometimes…

Okay, so recently I shared some posts that I had read on an FB buddy’s page. Evidently they or someone close to them was going through a hard time. In a show of solidarity, and to support others who were going through the same, I shared the posts, and some others that I knew would be supportive to many.

One of the posts was about the effects of karma; which I always maintain picks up speed on its trip to the recipient. Based on your actions you can end up with a blast of wonderousness or the exact opposite.

Okay, so now let’s cut to the off-FB messages I received because of the posts. With the exception of one, the messages all asked if I had been hurt and what could be done to help. I assured everyone everything was okay.

Now can you guess what the lone exception was about?
Seems my posts were a passive aggressive assault aimed directly at them.
I let them know quite clearly that I don’t have that kind of time to waste.
And you know something else?
While many would block and unfriend them; I couldn’t be bothered.
Hopefully they will block and unfriend me.
And if they do – I hope it makes them feel better.
Really I do.
And if they choose to keep me on their list?
May they lurk happily ever after.

Blast from the Past. Remember My Space? It was a Sunday morning. Can’t remember how many years ago. I was on my way to the Museum of Natural History to enjoy the new exhibits and visit old favorites. Such a beautiful sunny day. I was almost to the top of the stairs when my cellphone rang. When I answered all I got was a muffled and sobby; “Fraaaancesssss…” It was Linda (name changed to protect the guilty). She was hysterical.

Had one of her parents died?
Or maybe the cat?

No wait, her cat died last month and she wasn’t this hysterical.

What was wrong?

I sat beneath the statue of Teddy Roosevelt on his horse to listen.

Someone at work who she had bested at a meeting not only unfriended her, but got several others at the office to do the same. A real Power Broker.

Just a few weeks before I had to join My Space. Why? So I could not only read their blog, but more importantly so they could hit the 200 friends mark.

Did I mention that the person was Ivy League educated?
And that they held a good position at a Fortune 500 company?
This is what went on in their offices?
I made a mental note to never to buy that company’s stock.

It took 45 minutes under that horse to calm her down.

You couldn’t see it, but I had to take a few seconds to lay my head down on the keyboard. Just thinking about that incident made me fear deeply for (wo)mankind in a big way.

Now I am sure I have stirred up similar memories for many of you.
And for that – I deeply apologize.

Peace, Love & Chocolate.
Frances D

That’s Why You Are Who You Are

Many years ago a rather strange, but often quite insightful, friend given to storytelling told me the following tale of a man whose answer du jour was “That’s why you are who you are.”

For instance; Let’s say someone told him they stopped by a friend’s house and dropped off a package.

His reply; That’s why you are who you are.”

Or that their child was expelled from school.

Or that they gave to charity.

One answer and one answer only given to any and everyone that day; “That’s why you are who you are.

Some people were delighted. Some nonplussed.  And some got angry. Really angry.

So here’s a question.

You tell someone something about yourself, or about something you did, or how you reacted in a certain situation.

And they answer; “That’s why you are who you are.

How do you respond?

Interesting right?

Before I sign off, let me tell you another story from that same, often whacky but sometimes really cool,  friend from long ago.

There was an old woman who walked all about small Indian village of her birth, and its surrounding countryside naked as the day she was born. One day a girl asked her why she did not wear clothes. Some people thought she was crazy. Out of step. This could be stopped by putting on a simple sari.

Her reply; “Follow me this afternoon as I walk.

Before they left on their walk; the old woman asked the girl to lend her the bright red cotton scarf round her neck. Totally fascinated she handed over the scarf. She followed the old woman to  the local marketplace where she placed the scarf upon a scale. She had the girl make note of the exact weight, and then she draped it round her own neck with a flourish.

As the two walked about some greeted the old woman with bows of respect reserved for saints or enlightened beings; others sneered and hurled insults.

The old woman would make a small knot on the right side of the scarf for a positive greeting, and a knot on the left for a negative greeting. The walk ended back at the marketplace by the scale.

Weigh the cloth child.

And she did.

“It weights exactly the same..”

“Didn’t all the knots make a difference?”


“Then surely the color is brighter.”


“Has it faded then?”


<emurned to silk perhaps?"

“No. It has not changed at all.”

“And neither have I,” said the old woman. 

But upon realizing what the old woman had taught her – the girl was changed forever.

Peace and Love to you all.


Share Your World – 2016 Week 33

Would you travel into outer space?

It took me till age 50 to get on a plane, so chances are I’m probably not going to space. BUT if I change my mind Virgin is already taking reservations.

Which country/city in the world (that you have never been to) would you most like to visit and why?

Sedona, AZ is top of my list. I want to meditate among the red rocks, walk through the pines, and visit the artist community. The Grand Canyon and Vegas are both easily accessible from Sedona so we’re talking hellutrip.

What could you do to breathe more deeply today?

I’m doing it now – blogging and visiting blogs. It’s was a strange weekend, followed by an even stranger Monday. My daughter Josie brightened it by driving us out to Hyannis for lunch.

Complete this sentence:  This creamy peanut butter sandwich could really use some …

I was just commenting over at Chris’ blog about one of my all-time favorite sandwiches; the Malaysian Chicken, Peanut Butter & Pineapple Preserves that the Peanut Butter & Co. Restaurant in New York City. Unfortunately they closed earlier this year, after 17 years of serving peanut butter wonderfulness. You can still their products on-line at

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for all the good things, and the petty annoyances of last week. The good things were  numerous; the few annoyances only made appreciate the good things even more.

This week I’m looking forward to reading The Boston Girl, and discussing it at a local book group on Wednesday.  I’m also going to work on my journals, organize my creative space, and do some grilling. The kids taught me how to use the grill this past week, and I loved it.

Grilled Chicken a la Frances D



26 Weeks Letter Challenge – Letter V – The Color Violet

Just one of the many wonderful posts on Cee’s blog.

Cee's Photography

081516ltr v_2Here is this weeks  26 Weeks Letter Challenge and this week the topic if Letter V.

I decided to go with the color violet for this week.  Here is a short version of what the color violet (purple) means.  While the violet is not quite as intense as purple, its essence is similar.

This color relates to the imagination and spirituality. It stimulates the imagination and inspires high ideals. It is an introspective color, allowing us to get in touch with our deeper thoughts.

081516ltr v_1The difference between violet and purple is that violet appears in the visible light spectrum, or rainbow, whereas purple is simply a mix of red and blue. Violet has the highest vibration in the visible spectrum.

Purple or violet assists those who seek the meaning of life and spiritual fulfillment – it expands our awareness, connecting us to a higher consciousness.

In the meaning of colors…

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