Fun in the SUn Adelaide Cricket Field 2002

2002 Adelaide Australia Cricket Oval

2002 Adelaide Australia Cricket Oval

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Visiting in Texas in November

We are looking forward to a visit in Texas in November. Lydia will speak at Crude Pipeline  Asset Integrity Congress 2014 in Houston on Nov. 20th.  Then we will visit with family and friends and hang out. The main problem is to squeeze business and pleasure into a small time.

Right now, Charles is putting on the finishing touches of a short story set in Beaumont in World War II. Just a fun piece.  He is having a lot of fun working iwth Randall on a book of poetry for third graders.

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End Polio Now- PolioPlus

Today, October 24, 2014, Rotary International is celebrating End Polio Now!  We are going to a pot-luck supper.  Just made a donation to The Rotary Foundation for PolioPlus.  This has been a campaign to eradicate Polio from the face of the earth ever since I have been in Rotary (1987).  We are down to just three countries- Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  During the ongoing Ebola outbreak, we heard on the BBC newscast, that they were using Polio Immunization tactics to get to all the villages.

It is a remarkable cooperative effort between Rotary Foundation, Gates and other Foundations, United Nations, WHO, and Country Governments, with thousands of volunteers, to monitor and administer the vacciine to the most remote areas.  Yes, people have lost their lives.

So take a moment and make a contribution to “End Polio Now.”

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Musings on the Fall Weather- Geese Overhead

Each Monday morning I promised myself that I will start the day with a post to the Blog. Never get to it.  These past three weeks first started with small flights of geese early in the morning, mostly heading south, but some were confused.  Now there are flights during most of the day, small and larger V’s hit the trail down south. It is definitely fall; it is dark when we get up.  Darkness plays havoc on our 6:00 wake-up alarm. We are later and later at the coffee shop.

Charles and I finished Twin Sceptors in the Lunarian Epic this week.  I finished a Pipeline Asset Management paper and presentation to be given in Houston in November.   It’s hard write on fiction when you have to stop and do technical writing.  We plan to visit with friends and family in November in Texas.

Please- if you go on Amazon, look at L.C. Frenzel novels, look inside the cover, and get a free sample download.  We are having fund writing these, but we do need reviews- either on Amazon, or the individual publishing web sites.

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Michael Gracey Publishes Ma Thicket’s Story


Biographies of Tyler County Folks- maness3(at)att(dot)net
Michael G Maness, Tyler County Booster, 06-19-14, 8A.1

Here is a fellow Writer, Michael Gracey,  who can put sweat on the page.  Michael has also fiction also on Amazon.

ma thicket cover
Michael T. Gracey’s book, Ma Thicket – The Story of Ethel  Osborn Hill, just came off the press  (2014). Though he has been in and through Tyler County for decades, he retired to Woodville a few  years ago on his land that includes where her old log cabin once stood, now gone to ruins through  forest overgrowth, with only the chimney, a garage, and one dilapidated addition remaining.
An engineer by trade, Gracey researched the extant books and articles on her life, and he contacted  Ma Thicket’s granddaughter, Linda Cliett, that added childhood stories.
Ma Thicket named her home the Dogwood Den. A celebrated naturalist of the area, she gave talks on  nature in the Big Thicket all over Texas. Her craft class called “Sticks, Stones, Shells, and  Bones” was a big hit with children.
Photos revealed her life in the woods and her many passions, including crafts, her dish collection, and her writing studio. Her weekly syndicated column “America Still Is” was published for seven  years. In 1967, the Tyler County Historical Survey Committee named her the Poet Laureate of Tyler  County and in 1975 she was designated Poet Laureate of Texas at a Writer’s Club banquet in Port Arthur.

ma thicket  garage
On her 90th birthday in 1968, the Big Thicket Association presented her with a plague signed by the  governor that officially designated her “Ma Thicket” for her work in education and her 40-year  campaign to get the Big Thicket designated a national park.
In the latter half, Gracey reprinted her hard- to-find book of poems, “Trifles and Treasures”  (1967), in its entirety. Pastoral descriptions mix with heartfelt revelations of awoman facing the world with a strong faith. A few gems include “My Creed” where toughing it out, she said, “I’ll count each jagged rock a goad …” and so forth. “Fireplace in a Deserted Home” bemoans the empty nest and is followed by “A Miser” that  cherishes memories over gold. In “My Heart,” oh, perhaps you should read that yourself, and if you do, you’ll also find its gentle antithesis in “My Gypsy Heart,” something many modest women can relate to, I am guessing. But then I read “The Captured Bird” and understood more.
In “Pluck,” so self-descriptive, she declared that “Courage shall always light my eyes; Hope falters, but it never dies.”
My favorite was “When Azrael Calls” which beautifully describes how she wanted to be buried, an exquisite tribute to her love of Texas nature: “Tho strange and far be the paths I’ve trod, Lay me to rest in Texas sod…. For a headstone give me a stout mesquite, And plant a dogwood at my feet…. There in the wind and the sun I’ll rest, With Texas bluebonnets on my breast.” Loving nature to the end.
Today, one has to trek through the dense thicket for about 100 yards on an unclear zigzagging trail thick with underbrush, pushing through vines, brush, thorns, and climbing over fallen trees to get to the ruins that front a still active spring. What is left might fall anytime. Yet, Gracey has brought Ma Thicket back to life again.
Get a copy at Amazon or contact GraceyMichael(at)yahoo(dot)com and

ma thicket fireplacem thicket addition

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Geese Heading to Warmer Climates- Fall is really here

October 3, 2014

It’s October now and I can tell the season has turned to Fall. This morning around 7:00 AM, we first heard the geese overhead, and then saw two different flocks of geese in V formation, heading to warmer climates. The sky was crisp and clear. Our friend Jack was heading off to a cruise in Mexico. We were heading to the coffee shop to write.Temperatures were around 50 F. Between 7:00 and 7:30 the car was covered with dew.  Time to wipe off the windows.

I have just about recovered from a week in a shipyard in full hard hat, safety goggles, ear protection, and steel toed shoes. It’s the standing around in work shoes that just worn me out. The safety shoes have no contoured soles, aren’t padded, and are heavy. The shoes just keep me safe. So by the last day, I was tired, and my feet were aching. My only consolation was that my host at the shipyard was equally tired, and he does this everyday.

It’s great going from Summer in Florida to Fall in Washington state.


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Newsletter: March 2014

Life with Lydia


It’s been a while since I sent out a newsletter. I get asked all the time “How is your health?” It is just fine. No complications other than Charles and I have more aches and pains.

Puddle of Butterflies

I missed telling you about seeing a puddle of butterflies during a spring migration. A bunch of tiny yellow butterflies kept lighting around the same spot, resting for a while, popping over to the flowers, and coming back in a swirl. It really was similar to a yellow puddle with ripples of activity.

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

The summer of 2012 and 2013 was plenty hot, but not like the >110 F (43 C) in the summer of 2011. There have been drought conditions in that particular area of Texas for seven of the last ten years. Long term forecast turn the area into a desert.

Move to Vancouver, Washington State

Charles and I made a major move. We had planned to move to Australia a few years ago. We knew that we had accomplished what we needed to do in San Marcos and were ready for a change. Somewhere in the past three years, we think that we got too old to make that move and find work. We were waiting for the right circumstances which never occurred. Having been defeated on one front, we tried another variation. We downsized last Spring and, last Fall, took the household to the Pacific Northwest to Washington State, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. We are using cell phones and Skype. The numbers are Texas numbers so the time frame is two hours earlier. So, it is early rising to business phone calls. If you want an address, send me email. I don’t want to broadcast in a newsletter.

Fiftieth High School Reunion

In summer 2013, we attended my fiftieth high school anniversary. It didn’t seem possible. I had reviewed my reference book, “Calhoun High School Sand Crab Annual” prior to going. The women looked beautiful; the men looked old. Yes, we had the ferocious Sand Crab, Dolphins, Pirates, and Sand Fiddlers for mascots, and played the Victoria Stingrays. Can you guess that we are on the Gulf Coast?

Did I recognize people? Nope, not unless we had seen each other occasionally in the interim. We each see ourselves in some period of time that doesn’t age. During the evening, there was a mass phone call to a classmate who couldn’t travel to Port Lavaca. He was the first person I ever had a date with, in junior high school, although we didn’t date except that one time so far as I remember.

This past month, Charles and I visited with him and his wife. This was a remarkable re-acquaintance. We knew his health was bad as we had been trying to get together for months only to have him email that he was back in the hospital and we should come later. Finally his wife emailed “come now.” We didn’t wait. We visited them in a rehabilitation unit. We found him in wheelchair with legs amputated, and various port devices and bags hanging off. He reports that his physical deterioration arises from exposure to chemicals during Viet Nam. His comment: “The doctor told him that he could travel to the reunion, but he wouldn’t come back.” I don’t want to get this wrong; he looked wonderful considering the seriousness of his condition, and he is very optimistic. He is in the thick of social email- much more so than I am. When he is at home, he is on the computer blogging. He served five enlisted tours of duty all over the world. Charles and he traded computer software stories. He invented military personnel and equipment inventory systems that are still used today. They both laughed as they both said “We didn’t know that it couldn’t be done when asked to tackle and solve problems. We just made it happen.” Charles related an ancient incident back in the “good old days” where we needed two printers and called two different companies with whom we were working. Bill Gates sent out a 4.25” floppy with software quickly. The other company said “No one would ever want more than one printer in the system.” So Charles wrote the executive software, and set up the system. That’s what you did in that time frame when main frames were being supplemented and displaced by personal systems. Three hours went by in a flash; we still had more ground to cover. He was tired; we knew that we had a two hour drive back. It was raining and near freezing in one spot on the interstate so it was time to shut down and get back to Vancouver. He will be released soon. We will get together again with him and his wife, perhaps for Chinese food.

Charles and I talked about it on the drive back. We have friends who died, who went to Canada, who opted to serve; some made a career of the military until retirement. It was our privilege to meet with a person who had served in perilous times as an enlisted man, and his wife. It was a humbling experience. Somehow it was different from other friends and families who were captains and not in combat. Many of them opted for a career in the military and retired around 50, but were not in harm’s way, and not exposed to defoliation chemicals.

Novel Writing

Charles and I are writing the fifth volume of the Lunaria Epic adventure series. We have eight books on Amazon along with Charles “Nuclear Gnat” poetry book. Look for L.C. Frenzel. Charles is on Facebook; he twitters; I don’t. Our author friends chastise us for the paucity of publicity on social media.

We published 6 books for other authors. Check out-Valerie Dickison- four short stories for children, Jan Strickland- a fictional account of an oil Company psychology- very loosely based on Enron, and Roger Kidd- who loves printing and produced an historic stamp book. We are always looking for excellent stories to publish. You will hear more about the stories in the future.

This has gotten rather lengthy. It won’t be a year between volumes of “Life with Lydia.”

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Charles Frenzel and Lydia Frenzel in Sutter Creek CA

We moved to Vancouver WA and visited with friends in Sutter Creek and Jackson CA in November.

This is taken in Katherine Venturelli’s Monotype Studio in Sutter Creek.

lydia charles k venturelli studia 002 2013-11-03Venturelli is an art book maker and very talented monotype printer.  I was looking around for a web site with several of her creations. She is all around in commercial galleries. This is a link to the Amador Arts Council site.

We also visited with Jerry Kidd, who is a sculptor, two dimensional artist, and a philosopher.  Charles and Jerry had a two man art show “MEGABITE” at Roseville Art Center in November, 1994.  It featured sculpts by Jerry, electronic art by Charles (before computer art was really known) and two dimensional paintings by both artists. No picture taken at Kidd’s latest showing, but here is his web site.

Of course, features some of Charles’s art.


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Volume 4 of Lydia of Grayfields is now published

Find it on   Read more on web pages. This is a thoroughly delightful series of children’s books.

Valerie Dickison keeps up the adventures and antics of Lydia, the cat who chose to speak.

More adventure comes to Grayfields when Lydia goes to Wildwind, a haunted house.

The tale of Lydia Goes to the Haunted House unravels when Lydia, the cat who chose to talk, finds ghosts in the basement as Annie, along with the Merry Maids, tackles the cleaning. Frank pursues his favorite pastime, hunting mice in obscure corners, and tracks down a secret treasure left behind after World War II.

Annie juggles the keeping of secrets with Lydia, the heavy lifting, and the arranging of séances, while she gently persuades Stanley that something out of the ordinary is happening at Wildwind.

Stanley investigates the accusation that Uncle Rolly is a spy.

Aunt Sophie comes to terms with her true love.

The entire family works together to unravel mysteries surrounding Uncle Rolly Polly’s Wildwind estate.

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Pre-Publication Volume 4 Lunarian Epic “Claire and Pem”

Lydia and Charles Frenzel (pen name L.C. Frenzel) announce the pre-publication of “Claire and Pem” on Amazon Kindle in mid-December. Read more on or

Back Story:

Lunaria is an old world with a culture that at first seems medieval, but slowly Claire Miller finds what seems like magic is actually underlying technology that was proscribed a thousand years earlier in a terrible war.

A clever and resourceful girl of ten who has lost her father in Iraq inadvertently embarks on an adventure in the world of Lunaria accompanied by her neighbor’s cat. In Lunaria, Claire Ellen Fisher meets the future king, Pemburton Windover, and is befriended by the powerful Councilor Gilbert Greybaird who senses that there is a new power in the land that will secure the throne for the young Prince. While Lunaria may seem a bit like a medieval or even primitive world to Claire, she soon recognizes that Lunaria is an ancient and sophisticated civilization struggling against the return of forbidden technologies. Claire is torn between fulfilling a destiny to change Lunaria for the good or to return to her own home to seek her lost father.


In Volume 4, Claire and Pem marry and fall in love.  They enter into the pleasures of marriage and together learn more about the dangers they are to face as the Royal Couple.

Claire’s small changing of the wedding vows send ripples throughout the land. Their Wedding Day is greeted with great enthusiasm from the people, and not so great enthusiasm from certain Council members.

Pem and Claire leave the wedding festivities to begin their State visits to the Council members’ estates around Lunaria while the Council is adjoined for the summer and the council members are at home.

In their absence, Tess extends her influence to the Queen’s apartments, the King’s Brigade, and is attacked in the Royal’s private garden, a place, deep in the heart of the Palace, that should have been secured.

Their honeymoon on the Rachel Anne is an opportunity to plan with Rissa Ellender, Turlo Murten and Sage Leandra in relative seclusion. Tieben’s King Vernal Hushara and the Lunarian Council are seeking to form a monopoly that would create higher prices through artificial scarcity and tight government controls. The control the people have over the Council would be diminished, if not destroyed. The Monarchy, who represents the will of the people, is threatened.

Rissa and Turlo leave to undertake their own hazardous adventures in Tieben to strengthen Turlo’s claim as heir to the throne of Tieben and to curtail the conspiracy of back-room deals that threatens not only the hard fought peace between the two monarchies but the trader’s existence.

After relaxing on the Southern Beaches, Pem and Claire face an attack on the Rachael Ann.  Is no place safe?

Arriving in Ranaputkin, Pem and Claire’s official visits begin with the Ranapuis and Putkins who occupy two of the Council seats. There is time to relax. Slowly they learn more about who supports them and who is hostile.

Who is with them, and who is not?

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