francine's blog

Waste not, want not

I’ve discovered a report called Wastebook 2013.  You all probably knew about it long before I did, but it’s eye-opening to find out what our government thinks is necessary.  Robotic squirrels?  A campaign to make more Americans crave caviar?  Martian meals?  Did you now it costs 2 cents to make a penny?  Floating outhouses for Oregon fishermen? 

Oh, I know.  It’s just a drop in the big bucket of taxpayers’ money.  Each little pet program isn’t that big a deal.    

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Common Courtesy

I was reading quietly in the living room the other day when I heard voices coming from the kitchen.  Several people, men and women, were all talking at once.  Their voices kept rising as they became more frustrated, until they were stridently shouting in an attempt to make their points heard.   I called out to Rick.  “Are you watching the news?”  Yep.

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Seagulls, Turkeys and Eagles

Have you ever been to the beach and wanted to feed the seagulls?  The problem is you tear off a little crust from your sandwich and toss it to one, and ten more show up.  Toss a little more and a flock descends.  You start to wonder:  if I run out of bread, will I become the meal?

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Revise and Edit

These two words can strike fear in any writer’s heart.  It’s a given with me.  I know my characters inside and out – or think I do -- but sometimes how I picture them isn’t what’s coming through when objective readers get their hands on the manuscript.

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Travel Bug – Part 8

We met so many nice people along the way, on the ship, in the bus, on land.  I filled a notebook, took hundreds of pictures and bought a shoebox full of postcards which are now in a memory box.  

Tidbits I learned along the way:

“The wet” is a season of cyclonic storms and monsoon winds.  Thankfully, the wet started two days after our visit to Darwin.  We had sunny skies with light breezes.  Our guides kept telling us we were very, very fortunate with the weather. 

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Travel Bug – Part 7

Rick has said I am the only person he knows who takes longer to summarize a movie than it takes to watch it.  I could blog for the next year on what we saw and learned on this trip.  Someone asked me if I’ve ever thought of writing a travel book.  Nope.  I get too excited about tidbits, like the giant grasshopper I had to get down on all fours to shoot (a picture), or the flowers with a bee or bug in them or an interesting doorknob or crack in the side walk, or dripping bark from an eucalpt.  Rick just rolls his eyes and keeps walking, knowing he can’t shake me.&nbs

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Travel Bug - Part 6

We didn’t see much of Picton, but boarded a bus for a ride through timber covered hills and vineyards to Blenheim – a small, quaint town.  Our goal:  Omaka Aviation Center, a small, but special display of World War I airplanes owned by Peter Jackson.  Rick’s passion is aviation, and  every time we pass a plane, he gives me the history.  I balk at the mechanical details. 

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Travel Bug – Part 5 – For those who love “The Lord of the Rings”

Wellington is a beautiful town – with its bay, hills, older renovated homes, booming film industry and weather that is gorgeous (while we were there, anyway).  Like San Francisco, Wellington has earthquakes, but every place has some little drawback to keep the faint-hearted away.

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Travel Bug – Part 4

I don’t write a daily diary, but I do write a daily journal while we travel, which brings me to our latest trip to New Zealand and Australia. 

I plan to share some of the things we saw and experienced while sailing around New Zealand and winging and busing our way around Australia. 

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Travel Bug 3

We went back to Israel with a group from church, and then went on to Greece.  We bus-traveled around Italy and later Switzerland with Rick’s sister and brother-in-law.  We cruised to Central America and went through the Panama Canal.  We’ve driven thousands of miles, taking in sites in Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota.  We’ve made it from Southern France through Paris to Normandy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and wandered the capitols of Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

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