Variety and Uncertainty | #WeekendCoffeeShare on 12 May 2018

Wild Violets in the Back Yard

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share for May 12th . If we were having coffee together, this Saturday, I would tell you about my week. I am waiting to hear from my younger sister, who is to be driving from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minn. airport to our home town, today. She will be staying there for a few weeks to explore more of our parents’ papers; one of my brothers, who still lives in the home town, was able to buy the house and do the needed repairs and improvements, and he and his family have moved in there. I look forward to spending some quality time with my sister while she is in the Midwest. She has promised to spend some of her “time off from research” visiting with family and friends in the area.

If we were having coffee together, I would share, again, two of the poems that I wrote this past week. The first, “Eventide”, is one that I wrote last night when I stepped outside the door just after sunset when everything was still. It does come with a photograph (link) from last night, but the poem works without it, I think.

the wind rests quiet on the land
faint sunlight shrinks behind
tree branches and blue clouds
pasted on a blue-grey sky

birds sing summonings
then nestle into nests
for warmth throughout
a night with which the cold
returns too soon

cling to the cold, a shield
against the warming days

Copyright © 2018-05-11, by Lizl Bennefeld.

The second poem from this week that I would like to share is a tanka that I wrote on the tenth. It stems from a haiku that I wrote for last Monday’s Ronovan Writes Haiku weekly challenge: Ire & Fire. That translated into thunderstorm and rain.

a sudden rainstorm
has drowned my warmth and sunshine
ah, blanket! fire!

three young rabbits nest nearby
broad leaves, their umbrella

Copyright © 2018-05-10, by Lizl Bennefeld.

I have written several posts, this week, on my Patchwork Prose blog about some unexpected discoveries and realizations that have begun to grow during April’s poem-a-day activities. I would tell you that two of the upshots from that so far are dropping my NY Times subscription and “un-following” or dropping groups on Facebook. Uncluttering more than my bed sitting room, closets, and miscellaneous boxes of miscellanea.

I also would share that my husband and I are working together on making and adding soffit boards to the workshop that’s in progress in the back yard. The electrical inspection went well. No hitches whatsoever, so we’re good to go on adding the final trim and painting.

There is now a push to clean off the longer desk in my bed sitting room, since my husband is moving his two-wall desk to the workshop and wants the soon-to-be-spare desk from mine to take its place. I also have been spending more time in the back yard, playing with the dogs.

Best wishes for your week!

It seems that my husband has supper plans…

Until later!

Thank you to Allison (Eclectic Alli) for hosting #WeekendCoffeeShare. The InLinkz is HERE and Allison’s post for this weekend is here:

The meditation blessings that I drew for the coming week are Resolve, Innovation, and Strength.


Late-Evening Coffee

It’s been a short day, actually, even though the hour is late. I didn’t get out of bed until almost 9 o’clock, when the puppies awoke. Five hours from now, the temperature is forecast to be 32°F. Therefore, I spent as much time as I could taking photographs of flowers around the yard on Wednesday.

Somewhere along the line, I got a puncture wound. Sort of. I think it looks like an insect bite. Just above it, in the crook of my elbow, I’ve a large swelling. Sort of like a squishy, half-sized golf ball. If I were to take my blood pressure, I’d have to take it on the right arm rather than the left. I have taken two antihistamine tablets, which is—I know—not a good idea, taking two four-hour tablets at once. But I’ve done it a couple times before when I had a serious allergic reaction, and it’s been … okay.

It’s possible I got a bug bite, Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, I helped with carrying discards out to the boulevard for Spring Clean-up Week; our pick-up day was Tuesday, but they didn’t come around until Wednesday with the trucks. Either carrying stuff or pushing through branches, going after the dogs … too many possibilities! If the arm is still swollen when I wake up in the morning, We’ll see about a visit to the walk-in clinic. Now that I have had Toddy coffee, I ask myself if I should put on a pot of regular coffee to brew, since I’ve often found that to help with allergic reactions. Or just leave it alone.

Some photos from Wednesday

Al woke up, and I got some cortisone cream from his stash, before he went back to bed. And so I’m sitting here, talking to myself, and wondering if I want to brew a pot of tea, as long as I’m up. Or not…the puppies are getting restless, and I don’t care to take them outside while I’m feeling dizzy. Ah! I have found my own tube of skin cream! And a sheet to throw over the rocking chair to protect my bare arms.

I am finally managing, I think, to quit worrying to death decisions about Internet activities. The New York Times, I have realized, wants to be more than my source for news, and really don’t want to … become one with its culture? I got my first digital subscription to the newspaper in 2011. Time to walk. I have also, since I first came across their site, been reading Reuters, and I think I am happier getting the news reports from them. I will miss the crossword puzzles, but I think that I have to maintain a subscription to the newspaper in order to get access to the crosswords. I do believe that the last straw came when NY Times blocked my ad blocker; paying nearly two hundred dollars a year for the subscription would include undisturbed reading of their newspaper.

Looking back, though, it was inevitable. I do not watch videos. I do not listen to audio reports. I find that I no longer watch TV, because it irritates me and I move on to actually doing something instead. I have not listened to radio (other than the amateur bands) for so long that I do not remember when there last was a radio in the house. I am allergic to paper/ink in commercial printing; magazines and newspapers move too quickly from printer to end-user, leaving not enough time for the product to out-gas. Huh! Get into my 70s, and I become opinionated. That’s funny! I think I’ll go find the Oolong tea and brew a short pot of it.

I have gotten into the habit, thanks to years of rereading Sharon Shinn’s books, of using her “elemental blessings” cards (coins, in the books) to haul me off grumping. I’ve just drawn three blessings cards from the bin to consider, this evening. I will drink my tea and contemplate how I can use the blessings of Kindness, Patience, and Resilience in my immediate life.

a sudden rainstorm
has drown my warmth and sunshine
ah, blankets and fire



Serenity and Variety | #WeekendCoffeeShare on 28 April

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share for the week of April 22–28. If we were having coffee together, this evening, I would tell you about the themes for our week.

  • This week, as with the previous three, I spent much time concentrating on writing poetry during National Poetry Month. And buying and reading books of all sorts.  The week has been cluttered, though, with unexpected events.
  • The first was the death of one of my husband’s last two aunts. He and his sisters made the 3-hour drive to attend her funeral and interment on Tuesday morning and returned at the end of the afternoon.
  • And I managed to upset my digestive system, somehow. Gastroenteritis. I do not know if it was food poisoning, a reaction to the strong onion in the beef roast, or something else. I was quite miserable, Wednesday evening, and had a lot of trouble sleeping, that night.

I would share my two favorite poems from this week. The one I liked the best is the tanka that I wrote today (Friday). It’s a whimsy that popped up when I finally got round to responding to Monday’s prompt at Ronovan Writes: Party and Beat. Except that in my preferred version, I didn’t use the word “beat”.

waves ripple ashore
playing footsies with strangers
then slipping away

wind and sand party along
the beach … catch me, if you can!

The other was written on Wednesday; the prompt was supplied by the group of poets with whom I have been writing. I expect that adding a title to a tanka is not the thing, but it helped to frame the prompt.

As Far As The East Is

the sun rolls along
west is ahead—east, behind
just a glance away

In the bright light, all shadows
are behind me as I face the sun.

I appreciate poem-a-day challenges. They help me  focus on the closer aspects of life and not fuss about things that are (a) beyond my control or (b) none of my business.

If we were having coffee together, this evening, I could offer you some Toddy coffee. I made a fresh batch of coffee concentrate, today, and I’m looking forward to trying it out. I am almost out of oolong tea, and must get back to the Stash web site to order more; I am favoring the loose leaf over teabags, these days, since I found all of my tea ball infusers while cleaning out long-neglected “miscellaneous” drawers in the kitchen, earlier this month.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Al will be painting the ceiling in the workshop building in the back yard, and I will be trying to organize files on the new-to-me computer. Some of you may remember that last December, both of my laptops died horrid deaths. I bought a small 13″ HP with limited storage and memory to tide me over, with the help of a couple external hard drives. Still, I was left without enough disk space to hold my working photography archive; I also needed an optical drive, since most of my backups are on CD/DVD disks. The greatest factor, however, was the numerical keypad, on which I rely for the nonstandard characters whose codes I have at my fingertips after all these years. I was fortunate to come across the same model that my husband bought, several years ago, and at a semi-reasonable price. I still have to replace my Paint Shop Pro software.

Anyway, thank you for visiting and (if you’ve gotten this far) listening to my nattering. I think that the “morning pages” Julia Cameron talks about are, for me, evening pages. This is the time of day night when my mind is filled with stuff that needs dumping to the page.

I’m going to go brush my teeth and climb into bed now. . . .  fading away . . .


Thank you to Eclectic Alli for hosting #WeekendCoffeeShare. The InLinkz is HERE and Alli’s post for this weekend is here:

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!