#WeekendCoffeeShare, 27 May 2017: A Holiday Weekend

If We Were Having Coffee Together, this morning, I would have pictures to show you from this past week. We could sit in the back yard, but Al is putting shingles on the roof of his workshop, and I’d hate for him to be distracted.  We could, however, have cookies from Tim Horton’s, dropped off unexpectedly by a neighbor. There was a delivery, evidently, at his wife’s office, but because of the holiday weekend, there was nobody else to eat the baked goods, and so we were the recipients of muffins and cookies. Al will eat the muffins, though, on his next coffee break.

A Morning Treat from the Neighbors

(The neighbor stopped to visit with Al, and so Al’s taken a coffee break, now, with the muffin that has nuts on top of it—upper right.)

I’ve been pulling weeds in the garden, off and on, where I can distinguish between wildflowers that I want and weeds that I don’t, even if they do flower. So far, I have identified a couple of plants that I am almost positive are blue wild flax. So few that I am tempted to order a quarter pound of seeds from the online company I got the seed packets from.

I would mention that our “new” soil is sandy loam that is devoid of organic material (aside from the millions of White Campion seeds that arrived with it). I have been adding spent coffee grounds to the soil in hopes that there will be some substance to hold moisture, rather than the rain’s just running off and flowing away into the storm sewers. That’s supposed to be a good soil for growing wild flax, assuming, as I am, that the watering still needs to be addressed. Good drainage, I’m figuring, is the point of it.

Wild Flax (?)

Other than that, I took a tour of other flowers, including the last tulip. There are more tulip plants, but some were eaten at by the rabbits before they could bloom, and others did not produce fully mature buds, and so no flowers to bloom. I do love the dandelions, however, and the cotoneasters are flowering. And I found a small group of wild violets that were not touched by the lawnmower when Al did yard work, earlier in the week. I’m also letting my chives flower, because I love the flowers, and I don’t use chives in bulk, and so will not be bothered by the plant’s energy put into reproduction.

I expect that we will be going to the Memorial Day services at the hometown cemetery on Monday. (I must find out what time the services will be and whether we will get there for the services or just stop at the graves. This will be the first year that final preparation of the cemetery grounds will not be personally overseen by my father. My mother had a page on her web site (which I’m maintaining for the time being, In Military Uniform, with pictures of those of us who served in the military. Of the five, Chris and Matt are still living. I wonder, sometimes, if I should link the obituaries to the parents/sibling’s web pages on Mother’s web site. I do hope that there will not be a thunderstorm over the cemetery on the day. If there is, we may rethink our plans.

I’m glad that you’ve stopped by. I have enjoyed the visit, even though you are not in the chair beside me. It’s nice to be able to talk and know that someone else is listening/reading.

Best wishes!
Lizl

P.S. Weekend Coffee Share, previously guided by Part-time Monster, is now hosted by Emily, whose blog post is here at Nerd in the Brain, with an inLinkz button that provides links to other Weekend Coffee Share participants.

Sunday, May 21 | Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome! The weather is marginally warmer than April, but has taken a turn for the extended wet. We cannot sit in the back yard while we enjoy our coffee. Or water or tea. Even the gazebo would be too cold, even with the space heater  to warm the air.

I would share with you that I have left too many chores uncompleted to pick up others that could not wait. The past few weeks have been unpredictable and not well organized, as we fit in workshop chores around weather and appointments. I would have to look back on my calendar for reminders on what the schedule was. Yesterday we worked to fit in a drop-in at an open house for the graduation of children of friends from the marksmanship range we belong to.

Also, my diet, weight loss and blood sugar levels are more satisfactory since I have both cut carbohydrate amounts and the size of meals, spreading out the calories over more numerous, but smaller meals. I do keep running out of fresh vegetables! I am finding some good ideas in the gluten-free magazine, a subscription to which I have thanks to one of my husband’s sisters (a Christmas present).

My appointment with the grief counselor was great. She brought over a “theory into practice” book for me to borrow, and I have found it fascinating reading. So much so that I put last month’s left-over book allowance with this months to buy an ebook edition for myself. The idea of nonfinite loss (tangible or intangible), expanding the range of grief and dealing with losses that are ongoing, is helpful.  We will meet again sometime after Memorial Day.

I have, during the past few weeks, written some more poetry (see quiltedpoetry.net). Here is one from May 11:

transparent to the past

clear paths that were lost
this future, not imagined
hold fast to life’s gifts

in each new day’s wakening
quiet peace, the simple joys

transparent to the past [a not-a-haiku]. Copyright © 2017-05-11, by Lizl Bennefeld.

I hope that you’ve had a great weekend. Best wishes for the week to come!

Until next weekend,

Lizl

P.S. Don’t forget to stop by Emily’s blog: nerdinthebrain.com/ where you will find her weekend post and a link to the LinkIn, where you will find links to other participants in WeekendCoffeeShare!

Sunday Afternoon’s #WeekendCoffeeShare

If We Were Having Coffee this morning, I would be late! I enjoyed a nice sleep-in until 0830, Al’s having gotten up sometime earlier, I think, to let the Scampers outside (usually sometime between six o’clock and seven-thirty). I now am writing my WeekendCoffeeShare post instead of eating my already late lunch. That being said, I do currently have hot water for tea or coffee, bottled water, milk, and a couple cold, left-over cans of Barq root beer. There’s also cheese. (Al ate all the rest of the doughnut holes last night. Not on my diet!)

The week’s been busier than I’d thought it would be. The joists are now up on Al’s workshop; a cousin and his crew, unable to get over here last Monday, did make it on Tuesday to put the boards on the roof. Al’s decided to do the rest of the roof himself. Hopefully the tar paper will go on easier when there’s no driving sun or wind gusts. This next try will most likely be on Tuesday, allowing for Monday afternoon/evening rain.

my husband's workshop project, himself on the roof, ladder leaning against the unfinished building
Progress

I would tell you that I got to do some lifting and carrying and holding boards in place while he nailed them down. I enjoy being able to help, even a little, with his project Getting quite excited about this, as he will have many, many happy months spent finishing the building inside and out.

I’d share with you that I have had fun taking flower photos during the breaks. I have, however, been more tired than I’m happy with and am taking more frequent naps during the day. I have ordered an extra reading copy of Coming Up for Light and Air: Poems by Barbara Crow, so that I will be able to find it when I need it. I do not, of course, know details—no personal information. The poet and her husband lost a child, and among her poems I feel avoidance, recognition and resolution, and an acceptance of grief as life goes on. I am finding that reading through these poems helps me to process my own grief over the loss of my sister and my parents. And, this morning, strangely enough, the loss of two siblings in their first days of life, whom I never got to meet in this lifetime.

Of contemporary poets, there are two whose volumes I keep close at hand with one or two extra copies: Barbara’s Coming Up for Light and Air and Samih al-Qasim’s Sadder than Water. At times, they are too real, but that is good. I do not wish to step out of reality, but to embrace it in all of its aspects. This is difficult, because I am cut too deeply by it and bleed too much.

Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present

I’ve a long-standing love–hate relationship with those lines from “Burnt Norton”.

Tomorrow, I have my next meeting with the grief counselor. I’m coming up on six months since my mother died and two and a half months since Father died. The poems that I wrote concerning them, the last day of April, the poetry-writing month, do so characterize the differences in our individual relationships.

I have signed up for the message boards at the American Diabetes Association web site and also a two-year (12-month) subscription to their magazine, which comes with a digital edition. I still have to make an introductory post, this weekend.

This week’s indulgence: On Monday, I ordered (and yesterday received by USPS) a set of “blessings” tokens based on Sharon Shinn’s Elemental Blessings series. They often lend an unexpected angle of perception on events and…add a filter, perhaps, to provide a range of helpful perspectives. Another writing prompt, if you will! I write my life! I had been using paper tiles, but finding them useful generally, I decided to go with a more durable set. They will not wear out or lose their print so fast as paper.

Thank you for visiting, once again! I’ve enjoyed your company. Looking forward to reading your #WeekendCoffeeShare post and meeting with you soon.

Best wishes,
Lizl

Please stop by Emily’s Nerd in the Brain blog to read her post. There you also will find the InLinkz button with links to other #WeekendCoffeeShare participants.

Sunday, April 30 | Weekend Coffee Share

wild violets growing among patches of grass along the front of the house
Wild Violets

Welcome! The weather has taken a turn for the better, and we could sit in the back yard while we enjoy our coffee. Or water or tea. We’ve a chance of snow, come dawn, but until then the most to worry about is an increasingly brisk wind.

I have had a quiet weekend, here. I did write three more poems—one on Saturday and two more today—to finish up April’s poem-a-day activities. I must say that I enjoyed that very much. Because you are physically elsewhere, you will not have to suffer through listening to me read any of my poetic outpourings for the month. I would not read all of them to you in any case.

My husband’s progress on the backyard workshop has gone well. By next weekend, I think we could take chairs out there and sit sheltered from both wind and sun, but for what comes through the openings where windows and a door will be placed. Neither door nor windows have been ordered, yet.

I would invite you to spend some time looking at the tulips and wild violets that are growing along two sides of the house, now, in spite of the cold winds and snow of this past week. The last of the snow melted way this weekend; it sat in the perpetual shadow of the gardening shed. Usually it freezes over, which limits the selection of items we can store in there. Trying to chop out the ice for access only wrecks the bottom foot or so of the door.

As I have mentioned, I am grieving the loss of both of my parents (November and February), and also, now, my youngest sister, who died on September 30 in 2014. Funny, how that all comes together in one great, big process. Concerning my sister’s death, I find that I am much more in touch with the reality of it, rather than wrapped in emotions. That helps.

A book of poetry that I came across by chance and ordered from an online book seller has helped very much. The poetry is written by a woman whose son died. The modeling of her/their grief has been extremely helpful to me. Once I have the time, I hope to write a short review on my review/reading list site.

I must go and leave you, now. My husband needs help with holding boards in place against the wind.

Don’t forget to stop by Emily’s blog: nerdinthebrain.com/ where you will find her weekend post and a link to the LinkIn, where you will find links to other participants in WeekendCoffeeShare!

Until next weekend,
Best wishes!
Lizl

April 23 #WeekendCoffeeShare: A Wet, Rainy Weekend

Thank you for stopping by, this afternoon for coffee, tea or water. Today’s gather includes cheese (cheddar, swiss, havarti and marble jack, I think). I’ve eaten all of the almonds, but there are still a few apples to go with the cheese.

building in progress
Saturday’s Work

If we were having coffee together, today, I would take you to the back door and show you the progress that my husband and I have made on his workshop. I’ve done some lifting and carrying, and last night I helped cover the few boards that we could not carry back into the garage with a large sheet of plastic. Weighted it down with scrap lumber, so that it wouldn’t blow away in the strong winds.

I would also, if you don’t mind getting a bit wet, show you the tulips at the side of the house. They’re pretty, even closed up against the wind and rain. There has been enough rain and warm that grass is growing happily in the back yard in great profusion. This means that the rabbits are switching to new grass for their meals from the tulip leaves that they’ve preferred, mainly because that’s what’s been here and beckoning. It does appear that the temperatures will not be low enough to kill off my germinating wildflowers in the back garden, even if we do get some snow, this week.  We are going to look at the garden shop to see if there is fencing (still easily lowered for weeding) that the dogs cannot get through or over. So far, they’ve mostly been tromping down the sown seeds, but now they’re putting the sprouts in danger.

Closed Against the Cold

If we were having coffee together, I would be tempted to worry about my feeling tired and a bit down, this past week. I have been having some trouble concentrating. Especially, I am forgetting to eat, or, remembering to eat, I forget to take my diabetes medication. As a result, I’m trying to work out a method, having forgotten my morning meds until noon, too many days in a row, for remembering what I am to do, first thing in the morning. I have been going to bed and immediately to sleep, this week, much earlier than I am used to. But I am tired. When I wake up, still before my husband, I get involved in taking the dogs out, because it’s later than it should be, and they are desperate. Once the dogs are outed, fed, watered and taken out, again, I sit down to read the news, or even make my breakfast, but I am both too distracted and not enough awake to register the fact that I am indeed not following a proper routine. When lunchtime rolls around, I do notice my pill caddy sitting on the table beside me, and sure enough, the morning pills are still in there. On other occasions, I have forgotten what day it is and checked the wrong bin on the caddy.

I am thinking, perhaps, a series of appointments in my phone calendar with alarms to ring when I am to stop what I’m doing and check to see what I am supposed to be doing. Ah, my!

The poetry writing has gone well, this past week. I’ve got one day’s poems to get up on the relevant blog, and I’m only behind one day in the writing. I am so fortunate that at least my husband enjoys and appreciates what I write and tells me so. We even talk about some of the poems. I am grateful that we share interests enough to understand and respond to one another’s activities and interests.

Thank you for the time that we’ve spent together. I look forward to our next weekend coffee share. Take care, and have a good week!

Lizl

P.S. Emily is our current host for Weekend Coffee Share. Please visit her blog (HERE), where you’ll find her post for this weekend and the link-up to posts by other participants. Enjoy!