#WeekendCoffeeShare : Awake in the night

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us!

What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List (at Eclectic Alli’s), and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! [Snabbled from Eclectic Alli’s blog]

If we were sharing our coffee (or tea) break, I would be quite happy that you are here. I am about to put on water for tea, but there’s also filtered water in the refrigerator and Toddy coffee concentrate.

This has been the second week of the six-week online photography workshop, the first week to concentrate on methods and theory: seeing and expanding awareness of the subject through observation and contact. This is the material that most concerned me, since in the normal course of things, I don’t seem to store what I see as an image. It is possible that the image is there in my mind, my mind observing it as I make a list of characteristics in verbal or written form. But I am not aware of seeing it.

As years go by, do you find family members sharing information that was (seems to have been) common knowledge within the family circle, but that did not make its way to you? Leaving home for college at age seventeen and not going back, again, but for the Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas family gatherings, I did not spend much time as an adult with my siblings. Information passed through my mother and sometimes my father, and I have discovered that my parents’ sense of privacy blocked communication generally with siblings. Gatekeeper. Now that the parents are gone, and I’ve started having some contact with siblings, hearing about them and their families, I am learning about traits that we share, siblings and their children and grandchildren. And traits that we don’t share. Not everyone has the same quirks.

Anyway…if we were having coffee together, this morning, I would show you around the newly painted house. It is now a brilliant red with white trim and dark brown framing, house numbers and mail drop lid in gold-colored metal, and not a pale rose with dark rose trim and silver numbers. The house and outbuildings are painted to match. THe shutters and outer front window are in the workshop, where the other of us can sand, repair, and paint them without concern for the season’s cold damp and rains. It seems colder, this year. The flowers in the back garden seem to be done for the year. In years past, the blue wild flax was flowering into November. The painting was carefully done on the south side, trying to avoid damaging the daisy and other types of flowers that still grow there. The crickets are out, the bees have vanished, and I stepped on a wasp in the grass around the back garden. And so I spent some time, over the days, soaking my instep in vinegar and cold water.

The photos, this week, are a photo for each day, last Sunday through Friday night. I find that while I am learning about how others observe the world and make photographs, I am not taking so many, myself. It’s “I can’t see a picture in my mind”, “I am not able to draw what I see, because I am clumsy with a pencil and cannot relate lines on the page to what my mind sees but only as long as I am looking at the object” and “what is the matter with me, that I cannot do these simple things?” I don’t know if it is reassuring to learn that I am not the only one in the family with one or another of these family traits, or frustrating to know for certain that this is what I have to work with. Looking for some object and not finding it, because I do not recognize or even see it when my eyes scan surfaces in the house. I have lately discovered alternate methods, and I wonder how I got into my seventies not knowing about kinetic and touch memory.

And then I think, what a marvelous life I have led. Doing what interests me; living, traveling, and working in so many settings with such an astounding variety of people; having been able to work from home since my late thirties. Reading so very many books (so very many times, some of them). The allergies, sensitivities, and other factors may limit my contact with other people and places, now, but I have known and spent time with people and gotten to know them. Time passes and the world changes over time. Here and now is good, too.

I hope that wherever you are, you are enjoying your weekend. May we meet again.

Wishing you a lovely week and all good things!



The coming of summer’s end

Today, my husband hopes to finish scraping and sanding the final (south) wall of the house, so that he can get the first coat of paint on it, tomorrow. While we do still have wildflowers growing in that garden with additional plants beginning to flower, a lot of them are right up against the siding, and so must go so that the wind doesn’t try to repaint the boards.

Even though there are paint chips littering the ground, I did take some photos this morning, when I went out with the Scampers. Cloudy skies. Not the best for photographing this flowerbed.



#WeekendCoffeeShare 2018-09-17: Middle of the Night

Time for Tea

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share! This is a time to catch up with everyone’s news from last week, plans for the next, and current preoccupations (see our host Allison’s Coffee Share page for this week at her blog, Weekend Coffee Share).

Welcome! Fortunately for us, virtual beverages can be supplied to order. In “real time”, I am working on the last of tonight’s tea, and the Toddy Coffee ran out earlier in the weekend, and I cannot enjoy any until mid-morning Monday. There is, however, very dark chocolate to be shared. Since I had no Toddy coffee concentrate, I saved my 10g of chocolate to eat just before I go to sleep.

Last Monday, I began the first week of the six-week photography workshop that I’d signed up for, last spring. It was rather fun. I am happy that this is a small group. (Limit of 8.) There are topics/lessons that I believe will be quite useful to me as a photographer.

An interesting part of the simplicity theme is the introduction of the concepts of “serenity” and “calm” as being (necessary?) components of simplicity. I perceive simplicity as something apart from that.

I am eager to explore how much of a difference there is, if any, between my practices and those being taught in the workshop aside from divergence of semantics. My roots are in Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and Franz Brentano’s psychology theory informed by Quaker silence (i.e., [for me] openness to the inspiration of God).

Anyway, I had mentioned sharing some of the first week’s exercise results with you. And so, some photographs that I chose because of their simplicity and/or my preferences. And also, we were asked to pick out some of our photographs that others praised, but we ourselves were less enthusiastic about. This first group contains photographs that I treasure and also that I consider “simple” (as opposed to complex).


There are others that I would have added, but I didn’t want to clutter up the group board.


I hope that this coming week will be calmer. Aunt Pat (Al’s aunt) died, this past week, but we did not attend the funeral or family gathering, this weekend. Too long a drive. I had thought I’d wound down, having slept long nights, last part of the week, but I hadn’t, since it’s nearly four o’clock in the morning, here, and we still are having coffee or tea.

Thank you for keeping me company. It feels good, visiting. I appreciate it.

I have nothing on my schedule (aside from photo workshop exercises) for the entire week, now. Puttering would be nice. I hope to visit your Weekend Coffee Share post before Monday’s over.

Best wishes,

Weekend Coffee Share 8 Sept 2018 : Garden afternoon — Evening tea

South Garden

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali, where you will find her Coffee Share post and a Linkup button (HERE) that will bring you to URLs for other folks taking part in Weekend Coffee Share.

I just made a fresh batch of Toddy coffee concentrate, last night, and the tea water is hot. We also have (2 pounds of) peanut butter cookies, if you like ’em. ::grin:: I have got Gala apples and sliced summer squash for munching, along with hard-boiled eggs and raw filberts. You might have to wrestle the Scamper puppies for the snacks. Thadd has a thing for filberts, and Charles thinks hard-boiled eggs are marvelous.


The other of us has continued the house painting. We now have two sides of the house painted, but for trim, as well as the gazebo and the woodworking shop. We very much need to get the whole thing wrapped up before the fall rains and hard frosts that lead into winter’s icy rains and snow. I got through all of the laundry on Friday afternoon and later in the evening, when we got back home.

We started our weekend, Friday night, with a prayer service at funeral home for the mother of a friend of ours. A lot of family and friends were there. Not much vacant space in the chapel. A lot of people got up to share stories from their years of knowing her and the family. With time to spare, before the service, and our knowing very few people there, we found a sofa where we could sit and visit.

standing at the door
to the beginning, hand raised…
still, the second thoughts

And So Forth, Lizl, March 2017.

Oddly, we visited about what we would and would not want in terms of our own life celebrations. Hymns or no hymns, stories or no stories to be shared formally, religious (for the sake of family and friends), or just having a private cremation and picking up the ashes, afterwards. We thought seriously about writing, each of us, a farewell letter to the people we know, whether at a visitation or prayer service, a funeral or a notification of death sent by post to a select few and to close kin. Our friend’s mother was not that many years older than we are. We are more used to relatives’ dying in their late eighties to late nineties or longer. Such careful lives we lead!

I must tell you that I am behind, again, on my correspondence, as well as my writing. Although I did write a poem for this week’s Ronovan Writes Haiku poetry challenge. The challenge words were “past” and “poison”, but substitutions are allowable; 5-7-5 (or 5-7-5-7-7) is the norm for the challenge, and so…

even tainted paths—
by virtue of past kindness—
can guide one back home

Copyright © 2018-09-04, by Lizl Bennefeld, published on my Quilted Poetry blog.

I have been exchanging emails (and some phone calls) with my sister concerning the compilation of family letters and photographs during the years of World War II and following, as far as the call-up for the Korean War, I think. This week, although feeling bound up in obligations, has allowed for lots of naps and sleeping in, staying up late, and also for getting up early to quiet time before the day starts for the others in the house.

I also have been looking through the poetry that I have written over the past year and a half. Some of it, I haven’t  at first remembered writing. And then it keys in and … yeah.

The other of us is home, and so I am picking up the other threads of life. I hope that you are having a good weekend, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

Hugs & best wishes,

Midmorning Tea

The Morning Garden

I started out the day with a cup of Toddy coffee (12g carbs) and 10 grams of very dark chocolate (3g carbs) while the Scampers were in their kennels, eating breakfast. The ground was still wet where the sunlight hadn’t reached, which was almost all of the back yard. Very cold feet, as my moccasins got soaked. Lovely day, though, with a brisk wind and few clouds. Unlike Tuesday, there were flowers in the backyard garden, in spite of there being a frost warning. (I believe the warning was issued for tonight, also, but only for the upper river valley for both nights. I should check the weather history; I am positive that I saw my breath in the air, yesterday morning, when no flowers appeared at all in that plot.)

Time has drifted by, and while I have now tea beside my chair, this is no longer mid-morning. The Scampers have gotten me out to the back yard any number of times, so far, to check on noises around the neighborhood. And I’ve eaten the last of the rotisserie chicken that we picked up during yesterday morning’s outing.

Yesterday afternoon, the other of us visited the ophthalmologist, who got rid of the cloudiness of the left eye after the cataract surgery, last year. By the end of the evening, he was quite happy with the results. We celebrated by going out for supper to Denny’s restaurant to eat. My blood sugar was okay, this morning, but the allergies are not, and the pollen index is 10.3 (?) on a scale of 1 to 12. I should not have spent so much time taking photographs in the gardens. Drinking tea and doing my breathing exercises.

Mention was made of waking up at night to write. The urgency of the moment. I wrote a lot of poems that way during the 30-day NaPoWriMo event that accompanies National Poetry Month. Once again, I wrote a poem for each day, although not always in response to one of the prompts provided. The poem below relates vaguely to one of the prompts for Day 21. I was looking through my early poems from this year, enjoying memories of writing together with a group of folks (email exchanges, conversations).

I sometimes wonder if I write so much simply because there are so few people in my world to talk with. Or, if I simply have nothing to say to anyone else; i.e., not able to carry on a conversation. I suppose I would worry people, should I start talking to myself instead of putting my thoughts into paper journals and computer files.

The other of us has begun his work day, continuing to paint the house. I am moving on to wash the dishes. Thanks for being here!

Best wishes for the day,

open notebooks
Rewriting the World

Bring Your Own Plot

Print has gotten smaller
in books as years go by
and letters crowd the line
with two or more ascenders
where only one should be, and
below the quivering baseline
the descenders stub their toes

I do not know what choice to make
to maximize these story times—
read very fast for fleeting joy…
or memorize my favorite lines
to savor when the light fades
and shadows darken all

We will call up treasured stories,
the characters and I, and we
will plot out better endings
in which none of us will die

Copyright © 2018-05-02, by Elizabeth Bennefeld. Written for the 2018 NaPoWriMo event and posted on my The Written Word blog.