Contemplating God

On a recent drive, I finished listening to Love is the Way, Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times by Bishop Michael Curry. It was so comforting and got me thinking, contemplating God, religion, my church upbringing and how do I feel about all that now. I had heard Bishop Curry being interviewed on
Brene Brown’s podcast. His voice, Southern accent, Southern stories and his message of love got me interested in his book. I grew up in the Episcopal church. Even though I don’t attend church anymore, I appreciate growing up in this somewhat liberal church with rituals of communion, incense, and fellowship. 
How do I feel about all that? I appreciate the experience of the Episcopal church, although I can only remember feeling the presence of God there once. It was a Christmas Eve service at our church, St. James in Jackson, MS. My parents and my daughter attended. The church had invited the children’s choir from a local black church to join our children’s choir. As those precious faces looked out and sang Happy Birthday Jesus, I was moved to tears. This coming together of people who are not the same is where I see God. I didn’t feel him at any of my three church weddings, the obligatory Sunday morning services or in the priest office where I was sent as a middle schooler when my family was experiencing trouble. When the priest asked if I had ever masturbated and suggested I try it, I never went back for another session. Who knows where that might have gone. 

Attending a webinar with Kiese Layman and his auntie Rev. Carolyn Coleman, I witnessed love. Reverend Coleman reminds us silence is a great teacher, a great communicator. I have learned that during the past four years more than any other time in my life. She also reminds, until you learn to forgive the unforgivable, you don’t really know how to love. Recognize there are imperfect places in all of us, the grace of God covers us and calls us to still rise. With silence and forgiving myself, I am loving myself and others more and more. Someone recently said to me, “I can forgive you”. Those genuine words have brought a sense of peace and lighter heart. Although neither of us are church goers, God was felt. Ironically, some of those I know who are church goers and followers of Jesus are the ones I feel the most judgement and lack of love from. 

Krista Tippitt, On Being, Remembering Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks – Rabbi Sacks tells us we need to be enlarged by people who are different from us, not threatened. We should see that the welfare of others is linked to our own and is best for our own welfare. He wrote Dignity of Difference which is a radical proposal for reconciling hatreds. I’d like to think we can reconcile civilizations and our closest personal relationship and love will rule. 

How do I feel about all that? God shows up in all of us, in community, in nature, in silence, yes sometimes church. I believe most, if not all religions are trying to get at the same thing: love, and how to live in communion in this world. I believe our relationship with God is private. 

“Follow your dream, speak your truth” Rev. Carolyn Coleman

Art and small business gift buying

It may not be the holidays of large family gatherings this year. Who knows maybe that relieves a lot of stress for some. But we all need connection. I continue to me amazed at the connections and support I have made through writing groups and workshops online. Certainly regular phone calls and short outdoor visits with friends go a long way. Won’t it be amazing though when you can run up and give those friends a hug.
Some of my friends are amazing artists and creators. In the spirit of the holidays and connections consider supporting some these creative spirits, send a gift to that person who could really use a package showing up on their doorstep.


Annie Heron Ceramics – I have watched Annie from the beginning, creating pottery, seeing the absolute joy it brings her, and making a living for herself through her pieces. A cup of coffee or tea is sure to taste better in one of her cups.


LeBrie Rich, PenFelt Studio – be sure to check out some of her “way beyond esty” level felted art work. She has introduced some felting kits for all levels to get you through the winter.


Paul Jean’s Garden – Paula is a fellow Southern gal who made her way west to Montana. She lives in beautiful Paradise, MT. One of her woodland lavendar wreaths would make someone very happy.


Joule Art – Terry McIlrath is the artist behind Joule Art paintings, cards and prints. “Artists are the guardians of the human spirit.”


FildiDesign – cool stuff from badass brain – Joyce offers up cool stickers, apparel and more. She also has started a tile business serving Missoula, MT, JOYceof Tile


Savona’s Bitchin’ bohemian boutique – Clothing, jewelry, accessories and more. I worked for Savona years ago. She was my mentor when I opened my own vintage re-sale store, offering up her business sense and good taste.

Susan Carlson – See the world through Susan’s collage, it’s a treat.

Cry-kerchief – Taj hand embroiders kerchiefs, a place for your tears to land. Custom orders welcome. Find her on instagram.

I always have photo greeting cards available for purchase, my heart puddle is perfect for almost any occassion.


Heart puddle greeting card

Comes with envelope in clear sleeve.

$3.00

Dogs in The White House Again!

Everything is lighter, more hopeful. Yes there is so much to be done. But for today I am mainly excited to have dogs back in the White House. So welcome Champ and Major Biden.
Champ and Major on twitter
Champ and Major on instagram

And a dog love song by Annie Heron

Upcoming post: artist to support with your holiday gift buying.

Damn it y’all!

Damn it y’all. Yesterday was a blur, filled with shock and sadness. This country truly is divided. I so wanted Mike Espy to win Senate in Mississippi, get Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham voted out. So wanted Steve Bullock in Montana to win the Senate seat and not have Daines. Not have Greg Gianforte win the governorship in Montana, remember he is the one who body slammed a reporter back in 2017. Yea, great guy. This list could go on.
Biden’s looking good though, there’s that. As Bishop Michael Curry says, the struggle continues, but love is the way. I’m going to hang onto those words.

On another subject, I just started an online memoir writing class through Creative Nonfiction. Already, I love the way it is structured, the way it gets thoughts and writing organized. First assignment is: Free-write on this question: ‘The story I want to tell is…’. Follow the first thought that comes and see where the words lead you. 
My Side of The Story:

Dismissed without discussion. That’s how it’s been for many years. And I still cry from the loss most days. It’s been four years since I’ve seen my now six year old twin grandchildren, a boy and a girl. I meet them at birth. I was an integral part of their lives for the first two and half years.

I have always been a “kid” person. Babysitting from a young age, being a nanny and then owning my own childcare. Children are so full of promise, innocence and fun. Being a part of their development is an honor. I love seeing the individual emerge and encouraging their curiosities as they  present themselves. It’s been twenty years since I closed my childcare. I am still in touch with many of the children I cared for and close friends with some their parents. Caring for someone else’s children is an intimate service. The joys and challenges of a child’s development allowed me to become a part of some of my childcare client’s families. 

Once I became a grandparent, I thought this is the life, the one I have been waiting for. 

Worth Your Time

It has warmed up to 16 degrees from 4 degrees today here in Missoula, MT. But the sun is shining and it’s actually quite beautiful after a day and night of steady snowfall. It will warm up to the 50’s by the end of the week. I’ll head to Eugene starting this Thursday.

A couple of talented friend’s work appeared this week. I hope you watch and listen. I found them both entertaining and enlightening. It’s worth your time.

Chris Sand: Montana’s rapping cowboy, “20 for 2020”

Also, part-time Missoulian, Quentin Robinson, stars in the first episode of Move on Netflix.

Quentin Robinson starring in Move

https://www.sozoartists.com/lovehealsallwounds

Cancelled Amazon, watched Driving While Black

Awhile back, I won an Amazon gift card (remember Alicia). I joined Amazon and have watched shows on Amazon Prime. I ordered something this week, yes a cushy cushion for my seat to help with back pain. That’s the shopping theme lately, cushions, memory form, heating pads, even looking at suppression underwear. Anyway, I digress. I love my cushy cushion, especially while driving in the car. But when it arrived, it was in a huge box with unnecessary packing materials. That depresses me. It’s so wasteful. Last night, I heard a news story of how many accidents occur on the job at Amazon that are covered up, minimized, etc. They push their employees to make sure your item gets to you as fast as possible. (Why does everything have to be so fast?) Last night, I used the last of my gift card and cancelled my membership. I don’t need to help Jeff Bezos get any richer.
Also, last night, I watched a new PBS documentary, Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility. It is educational, eye opening and heart opening.
This morning woke up to this song and performance shared by my friend, Paty. Hope you watch it, I cried. Keep Going On Song
Love you all,
Thanks for reading.
PS not sure if I’ll continue with Fuck it Frances. WordPress renewal is coming up. It’s $118 per year. Feedback welcome.

I Voted!

I voted and it feels so good,
“Reunited, and it feels so good
Reunited ’cause we understood
There’s one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited ’cause we’re reunited, hey, hey”…


So good I just had to sing for bit. You remember the tune by Peaches & Herb?! The lyrics could work for reuniting this country again. I think there is hope.
If you can vote early, do it. Drop your ballot in a polling box if you can. Mail in is a great option, but it will delay the results and since the 45th and DeJoy are sleeping together no telling what shenanigans they will drum up.

Need a good laugh, check out the talented Alec Baldwin and Jim Carrey in the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, First Debate. The entire episode is available on NBC, highly recommend.

Voting plan and back pain

We are all reeling from the “debate” Tuesday night. I choose to listen to it on NPR, as the less I can look at the 45th the better. But really, I couldn’t listen, the banter and arguing were disturbing, so I turned it off. The good news is, I am going to vote tomorrow. Here in Montana, one can go into an election office starting tomorrow and put their vote in. I have actually had some mail that was coming not show up so this is will feel the most effective way to get my vote in and counted. I’ll mask up, stay six feet apart and wash, wash, wash my hands. Hope everybody has your plan of action of getting your vote in as soon as possible.

Hip/back pain update: it’s been a month and still hurts. Yesterday, I could hardly get out of bed. I decided to go by the Bone and Joint Urgent Care. X-rays only revealed a little degeneration in my spine. The doc prescribed physical therapy and muscle relaxers. If no improvement in a few weeks, they will do an MRI. Looking forward to physical therapy starting Monday. Muscle relaxers didn’t do much last night. Got the heating pad, ice packs and stretching going on today. Truth: I’m tired and miss my grandchildren.

Vote and strengthen your core. Thanks for reading.

A Question Was Posed

A friend on social media posed a question: “Tell me how the past year has irreparably broken your spirit?” The responses were many, varied and poignant.
Here’s my response:
The injustice that has reared it’s ugly head this year has broken my heart, caused me to reflect, go into action and accept some of what is. In research I’ve discovered shameful acts of my Southern family, my grandfather declared a black man insane for trying to enter a white southern university and had him committed. My family of origin’s dysfunction has created a chasm that may be irreparable. Tribalism is creating a divide. We are forgetting we are all connected. It breaks my heart everyday, especially this past year.

I’d love to hear your response.

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” Ernest Hemingway

Love you all, Frances

PBS Frontline And Rogan’s List

Last night I watched Frontline on PBS about the two men we have running for President. It’s very telling. Our democracy is at stake here. It’s not about being Republican or Democrat, it’s about getting a reality show host, bully and sociopath out of office. Watch and educate yourselves: The Choice 2020 Trump vs. Biden
Yes, the two parties are important, but we have a personality problem right now.

Another good find, Rogan’s List. It has many links to who to contact on what issues, White House contacts, links to Postal Service and more: Rogan’s List

Thanks always for reading.

Thanks @lovenotfear. I did it, thanks to you.