Every day is like a week | #weekendcoffeeshare

Clean Cups for Coffee or Tea

If we were getting together for coffee, it would be nice to settle in for a quiet visit. The Toddy coffee concentrate is at hand, as well as hot water for tea. I splurged, a couple of weeks ago, and ordered some fancy loose leaf Oolong tea from the Stash company; expensive, but marked down due to those items being discontinued. I’ve tried both, and I would recommend either. Extra sharp cheddar cheese and Honeycrisp apples were on sale, also.

If we were getting together this weekend, I would share some cooking ideas with you. Being on a specialty diet sometimes leads to boredom, and so I am always looking for new ways to cook familiar foods. My husband is also seeking out familiar foods that he hasn’t bought for a while, balancing off the subway sandwiches with pizza, lasagna and blueberry pie (both store-bought). He is in some pain, still, and seeing the doctor again on Monday. Putting several things off because of his limiting his activities. Probably until the end of the month.

I would share with you some of the poems that I have written during National Poetry Month which I have not posted to the Internet. I got off to a good start on April first, but have had a slowdown since the eighth of the month. The group with whom I have been doing the Poem a Day activities has started up, again, and so I trying to use the group prompts whenever possible. I had thought to stick to the Haiku and Tanka and related forms, but I have not had much luck adapting the NaHaiWriMo prompts to those forms. Undoubtedly my understanding off the styles and culture are still limited. I must, obviously, buy and/or read another book on the subject.  Poems are mostly in the usual spots:  Quilted Poetry, Quiet Spaces: The Written Word Journal, and The Moments Between.

This week, I got an entire 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft bookshelf cleaned out and the books I’m currently reading/referring to are lined up in it. I am hoping to tackle another shelf before I go to bed, tonight. I also got rid of the miscellanea  that cluttered the top shelf of the shelving in the front room. Many papers to be shredded and tossed.  Yesterday, knowing that it will be half a week before we are able to shop, again, we also picked up meat and vegetables to last until next Wednesday. If that doesn’t really work, it would be fun to use the online grocery shopping site for one of our favorite stores.

If we were having coffee together, today, I would tell you that my bereavement counselor and I officially ended our counseling relationship, and I am feeling good about that. I don’t remember the exact date, but I think that I started meeting with the first counselor on March 30 of last year. So, including the gap between the first counselor and the second, ’twas about twelve months of support. A very positive experience. Glad that I went ahead with that decision.

This day is almost over! Where did the time slip away to?

Anyway, a week ago on Thursday or Friday, I sent out application forms for three different poetry associations with the intention of learning if any of the three would be a good match for me. In terms of both interest and involvement, as well as learning experiences. I received an immediate response from one group, and am waiting to see if the other two get in touch with me personally. Seemed like a good step forward, its being National Poetry Month.

Thank you for stopping by. Looking through this, it seems that I have started a long short-story.

Best wishes for your week!

URL for the  #WeekendCoffeeShare Linkup: InLinkz.

And activity centers on Eclectic Alli’s blog, where you can find her current blog post: “Recovery Weekend”  and an introduction to #WeekendCoffeeShare. The InLinkz is open from Friday at 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Pacific time) on Monday.


The end of the weekend / #WeekendCoffeeShare

The week has gone by fast, changing weather (winter storms, spring melts, ice, &c.), some cleaning, some writing, and a family get-together, today, across the river in Minnesota. If we were having coffee together, this evening, there would be a lemony dessert to share along with tea or coffee or hot cocoa. Also, plain Greek Yogurt with thawed strawberries, if you’re in want of a dessert with substance to it.

Still Hot!

We had an early dinner with the family; it is fun to celebrate holidays when children are included in the gathering. They change so rapidly. And we came home with enough leftover ham to support scrambled eggs for two for more than a few days. I ate sensibly, and with good result. It was also good to return home and play with the puppies before they had to go to bed.

I have not always enjoyed gathering with family for holidays. I am much less tired, these days, however. More sleep, better diet, and for the time being a lack of stress. Enjoying it while we can. 😀

Some photographs from the past week, and one photo from the past, taken during the Scampers’ first July.

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that I decided to take part in the National Poetry Month’s NaPoWriMo2018, in which I will try to write at least one poem a day during April. My first poem is on my Quiet Spaces blog. I may not publish all of the poems that I wrote during the month, but I do hope that I would remember to post the title, at least, even if I don’t make it available on my blog.

I hope that you have had a good week and weekend. And thanks for stopping by!


The end of my week

This is the commitment-free week between two dental appointments. Next week, there will be the fitting of a new crown, where a filling was needed beneath the old one, as well as a small, so they say, filling in another tooth, same side/lower, not upper. Am still tending toward avoiding anesthetics if at all possible.

This evening, I am hoping that the bad weather moving in actually will be below crisis/danger level. I did thaw and cook an emergency package of beef liver, so that if we lose electrical power, we still can eat. Bought some deli meat, apples, sandwich buns (not for me, but for he), milk and yogurt. It’s looking like the wind won’t be strong enough to knock out power. If that changes, I also will hard-boil more eggs; only three still reside in their refrigerator bowl. In the meantime, I have had trouble convincing myself that I want to eat. I’ve hit food groups, but not a lot of volume.

I have lost track of when I actually started this recuperation/relaxation process. I had been having much trouble sleeping enough and also long enough at a stretch to get into deep sleep. I think that corresponds to coming up on the time change and shortly after. Now that I am sleeping at least six hours in a stretch between sunset and sunrise, my fasting blood-sugar level has evened out. I am using the hand weights, again, but the 1.5 kg, rather than the heavier ones, and concentrating on fingers, arms, shoulders, and back muscles. I have been using the elliptical machine almost every day, but not for long time periods. Now that the latch on the gazebo door has been replaced, I can use the space heater and exercise bike out there. That hits different muscles than the elliptical. The wind was catching the door, which was propped shut with a two-step stool, and I was concerned that we’d lose the door to strong winds if it weren’t more securely fastened.

Aside from a few grocery store and butcher shop trips, I’ve stayed tucked inside, here. That feels really good. I’m more relaxed, reading less, playing more with the dogs, thinking about but not yet writing. The Scampers are spending much time relaxing, also.

Waiting for Supper at Nine o’Clock in the Morning

This morning I was awakened by the sounds of a large group of crows settling into the nearby trees. And late this afternoon, ragged V’s of ducks flew overhead. I watched too long without going for the camera.

Ducks, Flying East
And another group

Best wishes for your weekend, wherever you are!


A long month | #WeekendCoffeeShare

large and small, brown teapots

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would offer you some fresh, cold-brew coffee. Also, there are green and black teas, water, and some cheese to go with that. I’m heading back for a second helping, since I don’t seem able to get to sleep. Too much coffee? My formal commitments for the week were (a) to have the prep work done by the dentist for a new crown, since I’d a cavity beneath the current one, and (b) to get a picture taken and write a brief bio for a Memory Book the class organizers are putting together for our 50th College Graduation Reunion, in September.  That would be (a) like filling a tooth and (b) like pulling teeth. 

I would admit to you that I never do well with autobiographical sketches. In this case, how to encapsulate 50 years…Here’s [approximately] what I ended up with.

After graduating with a BA in philosophy and English, I spent 15 years in IT with several financial companies in programming, operations, shift lead, and regional remote payroll coordinator. In 1984 I left corporate for freelance editing/writing, retiring in 2012. In 2015, I stopped selling photo art online. Al and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2017. I have been writing and occasionally selling poetry since the 1970s, and have served as a volunteer in and contributor to the international Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association since 2004.

The other barrier was not having a current photograph of myself, and so I asked my husband to take a few snapshots. I also got some of him in the process, but I have not gotten permission to add one to my blog.

First Try


Second Try

I chose a third. 😏

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I would tell you that I have had a lot of trouble sleeping during the night. Instead, I drift off to sleep during the day when one puppy or the other climbs into my lap and curls up for a few hours of sleep. We nap for a few hours, two…three…four times during the day and evening. While I have done a little reading, I have not gotten to the computer very often or for any length of time. Nor have I exercised, which is really not good.

Thank you for keeping me company for a while. I am going to try again to sleep, tonight. It’s four-thirty in the morning, here. I hope that you are having a good weekend, wherever you are!

I’ll try to make it for “coffee share” next week, too.

Best regards,



In the Company of Women: An Article

This article was originally written for and published as part of a WOW (Women of Worldnet) project; it was republished in 1999 in the Inspirations section of the ezine Moondance.org, Loretta Kemsley, Editor. I was on the staff for a number of years.

Rhoda Elleen Berry, holding her 2005 Christmas present from me and Al
Fantastical Nightbird by Liz Danforth – Gift to Mother
“In the Company of Women”
by Elizabeth Wicker Bennefeld

Published in 1999, and previously*

I was not often in the company of women during my early years. Growing up in a small town, I found only a few who shared my passion for war novels, the inner workings of prop jets, archaeological expeditions at the farthest corners of the world, and books of all sorts. It never occurred to me to fit the narrow mold my home community had laid out for women of that era. I had no interest in bearing and raising children, teaching home economics, or becoming a secretary or a nurse–the acceptable options.

While at college, I plunged into one subject after another—chemistry and math, psychology, German, economics and computer programming—finally ending up with a degree in English and Philosophy. Then, determined to spend my life learning everything there was to know about everything, I secured a position in computer operations and settled down to read whatever I wanted, and to write my poems and short stories to please myself. I had not realized how much the women of my day were oppressed by boundaries and barriers. I was absorbed in my own thoughts, with goals that made such things irrelevant. The few friends I had were men. For the most part, I was an outsider and content to be so.

In my later years, as the pace of life slows, I find myself more in the company of women—women who are no longer confined by earlier expectations or demands that life begin and end with parenthood and family. Women are making up for lost time with a vengeance. In their fifties and sixties, they are finishing master’s and doctoral programs and setting out on new careers. These are women who are taking control of their lives in ways that were unthinkable forty years ago. It is now the women in my life who are breaking new ground, trying new things, pursuing a lifetime of interests with no thoughts of barriers or limits.

In 1996, my mother, who had a degree in business administration, then abandoned a career, following discharge from the Navy, to bear nine children and raise the seven who lived, inquired about computers. Rhoda Elleen had never run one, and had only looked at mine from a distance. So, my husband and I built a computer for my 77-year-old mother out of pieces and spare parts gathered from various family members. In the meantime, Rhoda had decided to call the telephone company to have a dedicated computer line installed.

After a couple one-hour training sessions and a few frantic phone calls, Rhoda was out surfing the web and corresponding with people from all over the world, particularly about quilting, which is her passion. She paid her America Online subscription two years in advance.

She encouraged her children to get their own computers and helped them learn more about how to use them. During the next three years, my mother added a fancy color printer, a scanner, and a sound card to her computer, as well as doubling the disk space and memory.  She got out into the usenet  and was a regular participant in the newsgroup rec.crafts.textiles.quilting. When I signed up to be a beta tester for WorldNet’s web pages feature, Rhoda announced, “I need something new to learn. Is HTML something I could learn to do?” I do believe she actually bought an HTML how-to book!

It seems that this woman whose company I enjoy with increasing frequency wants to spend some of her time, now that she is older, putting together a web site on quilting and teaching the younger people how to quilt, because, while she still loves quilting, learning HTML programming and putting up a web site on the same would be less strenuous. She is also transferring the old family photos to digital format, while one of my sisters edits the book that Rhoda wrote about our ancestors from their arrival in America to 1900.

I am reminded that my mother’s mother, Florence Elizabeth, died at age 84, still employed as an undercover store detective at Younkers Department Store in Des Moines, Iowa, and really enjoying it. On one of my web pages, I have a photo of Florence taking part in a ballroom dancing competition, an activity she picked up in later life.

These women represent my heritage. I’m in very good company.

* * *

In 2000 Mother received a Worldnet Recognition Award, and in 2010, when Worldnet discontinued its webhosting service, Mother asked me to move her site to WordPress: Rhoda’s Web Site