Monday, July 31, 2017

Catching Up

Good Morning,

Today is one of those lovely days that everyone needs to do every once in a while - catch up on things around the house. A couple of weeks ago I was given a nice old roll top desk. Thomas and I spent most of a day getting it up into my little office space - a small loft off of the living room. It took ramps and a couple of pullies and a lot of patience. And a total re-organization of stuff. As most of you know, it is never easy to re-organize stuff. Lots of school work, family photographs, old bills and day to day stuff that never seems to totally go away. Also a good time to redo the closet and related storage area. So, a little most every day. 

Getting the new printer configured took a little while but now, happy to say, it is finished. Me and the kids can now print our stuff from any computer, cell phone or pad anywhere in the world that there is wifi....... how cool is that?

Best
Fran

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Francis, Thomas, Carter And Minimum Wage

Good Sunday Morning,

It is very quiet, then the neighbor's rooster wakes me. My days are very long. I nap when I can. Yesterday I was called into work and I went so that I could earn a few extra dollars. The dollars go so quickly as a single parent living on a minimum wage of 11.25 per hour. It is hard sometimes to be cheerful and outgoing to the public when your mind is on the work at home and the needs of your children. 

Francis, Thomas and Carter have suffered greatly emotionally and I find that,  late at night when the uncertainty of our lives breaks through the resolve of my strength that I must maintain for them, I weep silently at my desk - alone and wondering where the path of the next day will take us. We did not ask for this pain.

Today begins with a trip to the market. More laundry soap, some milk and bread. Uncle Bill is coming over in the morning - he bought a new rig (new to him) here in my neighborhood and it  needs some repair before he can drive it across town to his home.

He is going to help me move some of the firewood in the driveway to the splitting area.

Best
Fran

Actions Speak Louder Than  Words

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The New Printer

Good Saturday Morning,

Well, the old printer died. It happens. Fortunatly I have been awarded a college scholarship and it is ok to buy equipment such as printers and a new laptop with some of the funds. My laptop is ancient and will need to be replaced soon as well. But for now I am excited to install the new

ta da.............


Epson ET3600        it's cool. WiFi with ecotanks - will hold enough ink for 11,000 thousand b/w copies and 8,600 color copies...... and the ink to refil is CHEAP..... (12.00). scan features and all kinds of things......

and it works great.....

soon I will be able to post photos in my blog also so stay tuned....


Best
Fran

ps. this evening I will be posting an update about the kids......

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Friday, July 28, 2017

When I Became An RV Person

Good Morning,

You know, inspiration to write things comes from the funniest places sometimes. I find myself reacting to all sorts of things - The safety and feeling that we were on the right track under Obama and you can see it in my blog of years ago. Now I write, as many others do, of the tragidy that has taken us here in America and the world by the insanity of our "leaders".

I am sad and afraid for my childrens future.

I am inspired by what I read, hear, see and smell. This morning I was inspired to begin writing about the adventures I have experienced in my life as a RV Person over the last four decades. Or longer, I guess it really all began with the first car that I bought - a 1958 MGA. I have always been the independent type who loves camping and so it was no suprise that I always keep a canvas tent (no such thing as nylon pop up tents back then) in the trunk of the car. It was not until 1975 that I bought my first RV - a 1955 Chevy shortie school bus that had been converted into a camper sometime in the 1960's. I traveled all over the USA in the old bus until I landed in Oregon years later. I found a little paradise, drove the Chevy in to it and it has never left. Not even once. Since then I have had many RVs and driven many, many miles.......

more later, the day calls

Best
Fran

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Freddy, Reverend Larry & An Early Pick Up

Good Morning All,

I cannot imagine a more lovely morning. I got nearly 8 hours of sleep and work up refreshed.

 Last year I, against all odds, got cast in a feature film to be shot here in Portland. After many re-writes, pre production and some last minute re-casting we are at last ready for costuming and site rehersals. It is a short film about the quest of a middle age woman in her 40's who is confronted with the prospect of divorce and her search for an answer to save her marriage. I play a complex role - the person who provides her with the life changing answer. My character's name is Freddy. I will keep you posted. Daughter Carter was there at my audition and she has been invited to attend the filming.

Speaking of Carter - she had a sleepover last night and I am off to pick her up and take her to rehersal for her musical.

And who is Reverend Larry and why does "God want your money"?  Can a soul be repossessed? You know, like an appliance or car bought on time when you miss your payment?........... stay tuned


Best
Fran


Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Too Much To Do

Good Evening,

Ever had one of those days where you just had too much to do in the hours that you had to do thing in?

My day today. Single parenthood is rough. It brings out strenght that you did not know you possessed. So, write or sleep. Man, the chance to get 8 hours of sleep is just too inviting


Good night

Best Fran

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Black Beans & Laundry Soap & Karma

Still Morning,


Laundy is good Karma. Clean, non threating and comforting. But only when you stay on top of it! I just ran out of laundry soap. Ok, there's another 12.00. The warm water on the hands from the washing maching felt good. Maybe I will think of that at the local Winco grocery store while buying black beans for the 3 bean salad later tonight after pulling a double shift at the tavern.

Whoops! Got to go.....

Karma - it can bite you in the ass if your intentions are wrong.

Best
Fran

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

A Change Of Plan

Good Morning

Yesterday was one of those days that did not work out the way it was planned. I was called into work early and the time I had set aside for Francis and Thomas did not happen. Carter went to school but the whole day just felt off. An unmistakable feeling of unease that we could not shake. She had to do things that she did not feel comfortable doing.

Funny how the actions of others can cause such pain on the innocent. Sorta like the feeling that you get when the Secretary Of Education cuts school grants or cuts pre-school in favor of the rich. Only personal and mad and without thought to the damage to others or the truth of the matter.

So, today is a new and clear one. The air is fresh and the challenges of my life are witness to the resolve my heart carries for my loved ones. Mr. Brooks is waiting for his walk.....


Best
Fran

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Monday, July 24, 2017

Busy Day!

Good mid morning,


The day started a little late - slept in till after 6am. Mr. Brooks was ready for his morning walk but I had to have coffee first. Carter was ready for Summer Theater class and made it on time for rehearsal. Beaverton traffic! Lots to do today - Thomas will be renewing his DMV learning permit and today is his first day working as a busboy at the roadhouse. A few hours to see if it is something he wants to do for a little extra summer moola. My laptop died about 10 days ago so I am using my pad and not sure how to attach photos to my musings yet. Parts for the laptop should be here in a week or so. 

I do have a tendancy to ramble on so I am gonna limit my blogging to 10 minutes at a setting. I miss writing for school and this helps keep me in practice.

Fran

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Crying For David

Good Evening,

A lovely day! Perfect tempature, light breeze and 16 hours of sunlight. I filled in for a co-worker this afternoon at the roadhouse where I work. 

I worked last Friday night and it was hard on me emotionally - good thing we were busy. 

Fran

Actions Speak Louder Than Words


The LIttle Things

Good Morning,

Woke up today a little stiff and with sore hands. Yesterday I spent much of the day preparing firewood for the upcoming winter. I have been very sad over the last week - the death of my brother hit me pretty hard. He moved out about 15 years ago, went back east. For the 22 years or so prior to that we lived together and were very close. I am not ready yet to put my feelings into words about that. 

The day is upon me.

"My life is changing in so many ways,
        I dont know who to trust anymore.
There's a shadow running through my days,
        Like a beggar going from door to door...."
                               
                                                - Neil Young

Fran

Actions speak louder than words.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"And She Didnt Think That Money Was The Measure Of A Man."

Passion - It can cause a person to change his position on almost anything. Seek to remove printed words, suffer the fear of the printed word. You can not unring the bell. As a recent victim I know what I am talking about - about the damage and the emotional pain and the insidious scars it leaves on the innocents. I dont sleep any better than anyone else who is being attacked. Is my life and time less valuable than some one else's? I am I to be punished because I acted with honor? 

I dont think that there is person alive who disagree that Thomas, Carter and Francis are intelligent, compassionate, perceptive and intutitive way beyond their years. As a single father I am both proud and a bit intimated of them. I realize that I will never have the breath of experiences or mental capacity that they possess. They have far exceeded my aspirations as humans.  Yet people talk and children hear and read. So do their friends and they go to school with them. What is to be gained from an ignorant outsider's bitterness, anger and lack of compassion?

Our life is not fiction. Francis recently had serious dental surgery. Insurance did not cover it all. He suffered a lot over months and months yet did not tell me or his brother or sister. He knew that money was dry and thin and that emotional days of pain and separation were upon us. Perhaps you think that I dramatise.......How many of you have comforted your 20 year old child while he was weeping from the pain of not being able to handle it any more? Who did he come to and why?



The Buck Stops Here.


Best Regards
Fran

Actions speak louder than words.

Mr. Brooks



Good Morning Readers

It is first light here in Western Oregon. The neighbor is a retired musican who made his living in the high tech world. He is in his 90's and raises chickens. He has one of the biggest roosters that ever crowed..... I love this time of the morning - so quiet and calm. For the better part of the last 18 months I have used this time for my college studies but right now, because I am only carrying one class, I find that I can devote a little thought and time to my long neglected blog.

I first learned of the world of blogging from a unique snowbird whom I met in Mexico and extended the hospitality of my family's home to. His advice about writing the blog was to:

Keep it short. Keep it very simple so that it could be understood. Keep politics out of it and never say anything bad about someone else on it. Well, for any long time readers out there you probably know that is not my style. I am openly opinionated and have used my blog musings in a candid manner that cuts as well as sews.

Well, today I dont have much to say about the insanity that has taken root in the 'leadership' of our beloved country. Anyone remember my piece on Health Care written 7 or 8 years ago? Did the Oracle of Aticama hit the nail on the head or what?

Sorry about that, I normally dont refer to myself in the 3rd person or the imperial we. So, how does the day of a single father raising 3 school age children start? Perhaps many of you out there can answer that. Of, course, raising children in todays digital, more socially accepting age is totally unlike any generation before it. Everyone knows that and if not then one has to have been hiding under a very large rock....... Most days for me start at 4:45 am. A few minutes dressing then to the kitchen and make that morning pot of coffee. The news is on and I check the weather. A force of habit heldover from the grinding Handyman days. While the jo is making I was the dishes - the hot water is good for my RA. The muscles in my hands have knotted into poorly strung steel bands from decades of construction. Take the compost out to the garden. Water the veggies. Grab that cup of coffee and head into the laundry room and do that 4 person dirty clothes load - first fill the washer then fold the clothes. I enjoy this simple task. In the winter months, for the last 40 years, I load and stoke the fire. In warm weather I burn yesterday's paper and it heats the hot water system for the morning use. By now it is time to give the kids the first wake up call. I have been doing this since they started school, some 15 or 16 years ago. Normally I would then make breakfast but recently that time now belongs to Mr. Brooks.

Mr. Brooks is our new puppy. He is a 4 month old Australian Cattledog/Border Collie mix. Smart, well mannered, loyal and protected. About as perfect of a dog as you could ask for. We go for a long morning walk together on all the trails here on the property I have created over the last 40 years. We go to the property lines, he sits and looks, I tell him to guard and we move on. Then up to the road where he sits, looks both ways, then we cross over the street and we walk to the local park. Mr. Brooks is a rescue dog and the kids and I looked for 5 months for him, going on saturdays to the adoption centers and looking in the want ads. Our previous dog, Ahab, died several years ago and we were not permitted to have another dog for some unknown reason until the parenting situation changed. Mr. Brooks is a friendly puppy and our cats, Ruby, Willow and Waddle still dont know what to make of him.

After our walk I make breakfast, give the kids the second wake up call, and then, during the summer months I take Kawena (who now prefers to be called Carter - who knows where she came up with that name but I kindly ask everyone to respect her right to be called what she wants to be called and afforded the dignaty of her individuality) to the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy where she attends the Summer Intensive Theater course. This is her 3rd summer doing this, 4th if you count her first summer at Sunset High. ( I have been a parent volunteer for the kids theater classes for 5 years) Then I go to work or class. Unlike construction the work that I do now is plesant and personally rewarding - working with the public at a small and very cool, old roadhouse. I have dozens of regulars and we always greet with warm genuine smiles. On Friday nights the joint has live music. My co-workers are the best. After work I pick up Carter and we go grocery shopping or run errands. Back at home I put in a few hours on the re-building of our little home. A slow but rewarding job. Then, on the weekends I take Thomas to his work (often with me) at the local 2nd run theater. Carter often comes with us, sometimes she stays home and works on her artwork and Francis (now nearly 21!) becomes the man of the house. Carter is also working up a couple of songs for an audition soon. Thomas just bought a little car and is now learning to drive - yup, you got it - I am teaching him. His girlfriend, a sweet caring and delightful young woman lives on the other side of Portland and I normally only have time to take him there on the weekends but he is good with that.

Of course, my day is filled with other parental activities as well but I always try to squeeze in my weekly tv show - every Saturday morning I watch re-runs of the amazingly well written western from the 50/60's - 'Have Gun Will Travel' mid morning.

Well, out of time. Mr. Brooks is ready to walk and so am I. I hope to share a bit of mine and the kids day often - I do it again for the pleasure of it, I dont get paid to write. I believe it is good for the soul. In the last year I have written more than 30 college essays and papers. (Perhaps I should write one on the innocent victims of character assassination) Who knows maybe there is a Blog 101 offered out there somewhere!!

AN UNFORTUNATE DISCLAMER:
I do not play poker and am not a gambler. One only need to ask any of our  family friends. I have been, however, active in local politics in both Aticama and in Portland as many of family friends (and public officials) will attest to. One such meeting comes to mind - the Ejido (governing body) of Aticama held an emergency meeting years ago to decide weither or not to sell a piece of beach property on a day that some friends were visiting our home. I was invited to attend by the ex Ejido president (a family friend who's passing I wrote of in my blog) and was invited to speak before the group.  A spirited discussion was held that was documented.

Actions speak louder than words.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Judgement And Ignorance, Kawena Gets Hacked



Respect. We all desire it, work towards it and if we show it, teach it. We live in uncertain times and many of us would rather believe one side of the story, take comfort in ignorance, strike out when feeling challenged, often create a distant arm-chair reality to  suit their beliefs. We see that every day now in the strange and frightening actions of those who claim to manage our common government. A simplistic twisting of sound bites designed to sway opinion. This Alternative Reality filters down through the public mindset and affects us all.

Respect. A persons name, appearance, values, education and outlook all deserve respect. When we lower ourselves to the pettyness of name calling and public slander we summon up the words of Richard Nixon - ".....benith my contempt." There is nothing to be gained from this infantile behavier - either from our so called elected officials 
, those who touch our everyday lives or from the general public.

Daughter Kawena told me that someone has been hacking her email and facebook. Who would do such a thing? I mean, really? A 13 year old - what for? Her money, her thoughts, her activities, her friends? There was only one other person, besides her, who knew her password in this world and I was not one of them. 

Got to run - taking the Kawena, Thomas and their friend to the mall!

Actions speak louder than words.

The Passing Of My Brother David

Hello

My brother David died on July 9th. I love him and I cared for him and he lived with me, here at our home, for 22 years. 

I have decided to return to my blog after many years of silence. There has been a reason for the silence and it has been personal. I have no wish to write a bunch of safe, sanitized mush to appease myself or those who would find entertainment in my musings. As others do. What you will read here is real and raw and uncensored. I write first and foremost as a dedicated and committed single father of 3 wonderful school age children. They are my life and there can be no disagreement on this matter.

I have decided to return to blogging not to defend myself against the bias of those who know little or nothing of me, but rather to defend the integrity of my children, of our lifestyle, our beliefs and our merits. 

If you are looking for bullshit or name calling or mean-spiritness you will have to look elsewhere. If you want to comment then I welcome any and all creative criticism but if you cannot restrain yourself from making unsubstanciated judgment then I will be happy to reply from higher ground.

I am a busy man and there is precious little time to devote to this type of writing but I will send my regards often.

Soon I will talk about the life and times of my kid brother David Eugene Kohler. I called him Dave, he was and he loved to sing. 

Actions speak louder than words.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Happened To Weng?

Simply put - Weng became someone else. She is now Rowena, a single woman. That is her choice and I respect it.  She moved out of our home over 2 years ago. Last year she demanded a divorce and I agreed and filed. Had I not filed, then she as a Philippine citizen would not be legally divorced in her native country (Philippines does not permit divorce).

Somewhere along the line I became, in the words of a well known traveler, a rodent.

I guess in this new age of revisionist history this man's assessment of me carries some water. Alternative Facts can be so comforting in their simplicity.

But reality is an uncompromising firewall against deception. Love is such a strong emotion - it can blind us to the truth in front of our very eyes. I know this.  My children know this. Getting older does not give one the right to judge another person publically with little regard for the truth.



More importantly what is the role of a loving providing parent? It takes a gift of one's time and understanding. Of writing and showing understanding, commitment and love. Who would disagree?

We live, sadly, now in a world of 'Me first', everything else second. A tragic cost to the true meaning of family. I have been ridiculed because I am a humanist first and a consumer second. Because I believe that it is our responsibility to provide our children with the best future that we can. I have lived in the same home for 41 years now - of that 22 was with my brother, 20 with my ex wife and soon 21 years as a guest of my children.



I returned to college after a 30 year gap to develope the skills necessary to start a new business. For a reason. Some may know that I worked as a labourer for decades to support our family. In 2012 health issues (RA and lung) nearly dropped me in my tracks.  For nearly 5 years I worked in this manner against the advice of my doctor until I could do it no more. July of 2015 I made arraingements to return to the local Community College and I started that following winter. Now, after 52 credit hours, I maintain a straight 4.0gpa, am on the presidents list, in the national honor societ and have received scholarships to pay for the rest of the schooling necessary to get my associates and move on to my bachlors degree. I am proud to say that it has not been easy. My Professors are talented and I share a common academic and social respect for my classmates.

At age 64 what is my motivation? My children and their future.

Before I am further judged consider: I work and go to school when my children go to school, even during the summer when I drive Kawena goes 4 days a week to summer theater intensive, Thomas going to summer school for chemistry. Thomas and I are rebuilding the house (Kawena helps with stucco drywalling work. I do all of the domestic work around the home, the shopping, transporting the children to all of their activities, and now teaching Fhomas and Francis to drive.

So, in closing, I would say, looking at the Big Picture, follow  the money from hand to hand - who pays for what and when and why.



I would rather be regarded as a rodent by those who know nothing of the truth of my childrens and my life than be a  self rightous sugar daddy or momma fueling personal greed over the lives of those who stand to lose the most in this life from that self centered shame.

Actions speak louder than words.